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Constitutional Court: calling Jobbik ‘far-right’ is opinion, not fact

Party Popularity

Although Hungary’s opposition party Jobbik has been referred to in news coverage as “far-right” or “extreme right,” a decision of the Hungarian Constitutional Court states that the party can no longer be described as such, according to reports.

The party initiated a court case against Hungarian commercial television channel ATV, where an anchor described the party as “far-right.” The first court ruling said that the party cannot be tagged as such, and though ATV challenged the decision with every possible authority, its appeal has been rejected. 

According to the latest decision of the court, the “far-right” adjective constitutes an opinion and not a fact, and therefore the party cannot be described in this way in news reports.

The party, with a full name that translates as “Movement for a Better Hungary,” describes its aims in its own words as “preserving our national traditions and passing on our cultural heritage to the next generations,” as well as representing “universal humane values that are common in all cultures and religions.”

After Hungarian parliamentary elections in April 2014, the party secured 20.54% of the vote, making it Hungaryʼs third largest party in the National Assembly.

Previously in June 2014, Hungaryʼs Supreme Court likewise ruled that Jobbik cannot be deemed “far-right” by newscasters.

Founded in 2003, the party has been alternatively described as “radical nationalist” or “right-wing populist” and has been persistently dogged by media accusations of antisemitism, racism and homophobia among its ranks and supporters, as well as for its links to the controversial Magyar Gárda, the former paramilitary movement dissolved in 2009. Gábor Vona, founder of the Magyar Gárda, remains the leader of Jobbik.

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