Fidesz launches smear campaign targeting opposition leaders

February 2, 2018

Fidesz launches opposition smearing billboard and phone campaign
Balázs Hidvéghi (L) with Fidesz’s latest billboard | Photo: MTI/Lajos Soós

On Tuesday, while his party was busy boycotting the Parliament’s extraordinary session about the government’s immigration policy, Fidesz communications director Balázs Hidvéghi rolled out the ruling party’s latest billboard campaign in front of the parliament. The billboard portrays opposition leaders Bernadett Szél (Politics Can Be Different), Ferenc Gyurcsány (Democratic Coalition), Gábor Vona (Jobbik) and Gergely Karácsony (Dialogue for Hungary) holding wirecutters in George Soros’s embrace.

At bus stops across Budapest “Stop Soros” posters appeared warning that the American billionaire philanthropist wants to settle migrants from the Middle East and Africa in Hungary.

Fidesz launches smear campaign targeting opposition leaders
Photo: Budapest Beacon

The billboard reads in all caps, “They would dismantle the border barrier together.” Fidesz is seemingly not bothered by the fact that at the end of last year opposition parties made it clear that even if they won the election, none of them would touch the border fence in the short run.

Even before the official start of the campaign season, Fidesz launched a phone campaign essentially accusing Jobbik chairman and prime ministerial candidate Gábor Vona of being a closet Muslim. Referring to an undated video of Vona speaking Turkish in front of Turkish students, Fidesz call centers told voters that the Jobbik leader “prays to Allah.”

In the video, Vona says “We are the grandchildren of Attila [the Hun] who […] don’t fear anyone but God.” However, instead of the Turkish word Tanri, Vona used Allah which is the common phrase for God not only among Muslims but also among Arab-speaking Christians and Jews.

This is the second telephone campaign Fidesz launched against Vona. Last summer, Fidesz called pensioners to note them how Vona had offended them and warned call recipients not to “forget this when it comes to voting”.