Hungary's anti-Semitic Far Right Party Squeezed Out of Government

Jobbik party's campaign blamed Jews and Gypsies for Hungary's ills, gained unprecedented support.

Despite record poll results that saw Hungary's extremist Jobbik party storm to third place in Monday's general election, the far right faction has failed to win seats in government.

The center-right Fidesz party, which took 52.7 percent of the vote to beat off a challenge from the second-placed Socialists, said Tuesday it had no plans to bring Jobbik into the coalition

Jobbik, whose campaign blamed Jews and Gypsy's for Hungary's ills, gained backing from 16.7 percent of voters - the strongest ever support for a far right party since the fall of communism in 1990, when democracy was restored.

The party, which is backed by a black-clad militia group, promised to use its influence to stamp out "Gypsy crime".

But the wide margin of Fidesz's victory means that for the first time since 1990, the election winner will likely be able to govern without the support of other parties in a coalition.

Fidesz did not quite achieve the landslide predicted by pre-election opinion polls. Yet the party still looks set to consolidate its position in a second round of voting on April 25, which will fill the remaining 125 seats in Hungary's 386-seat legislature not covered by first round voting.

"You have to view these results in a European context," said Fidesz leader and prime minister elect Victor Orban. "The election results prove that Hungary is a European nation, with a democracy strong enough to defend it."

Orban added: "The best prescription we can offer the Hungarian people is good government. I am convinced that better management of the government will lead to a weakening of the extreme right."

Peter Feldmajer, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary, told Haaretz in an interview that while Jobbik's election success was worrying, there was little chance of the extreme right taking control in Hungary.

"Of course, it is deeply concerning that a fascist party has been able to penetrate the Hungarian parliament," Feldmajer said. "But in my opinion it does not represent a danger that the party and its ideology will gain influence on government."