Far-right party Jobbik will do some housecleaning next year and Előd Novák may not be re-elected vice-president, reports Hungarian news site Index.hu. A controversial figure both inside and outside of the extremist party, “Novák’s personality may cause problems for [Jobbik] as the party prepares to govern,” Magyar Nemzet writes.
Other members of Jobbik, including Gábor Szabó and János Volner, tell the newspaper it would be wrong to assume Jobbik’s chances of being elected to government in 2018 are slim should Novák remain in his position.
Szabó tells Magyar Nemzet that Novák can be difficult to work with because he often instigates conflict, but this is one of the main reasons why Jobbik supporters like him so much.
Novák tells the daily paper he is aware that certain party members are not satisfied with him, but he has always been elected party vice-president by an overwhelming majority and he will seek the position again next year.
Why does this matter?
It doesn’t. While Jobbik has toned down its racist rhetoric as of late, at least on a national level, the party relies heavily on extremist rank-and-file supporters who share its core values, including opposition to foreigners, especially migrants from outside the EU. The party’s senior leadership is stacked with racial bigots, including party chairman Gábor Vona, deputy parliamentary speaker Tamás “Roy” Sneider, and Márton Gyöngyössy, who have spent years building grassroots support for the party’s radical right-wing political program. Removing Előd Novák as vice-president is unlikely to alter Jobbik’s core values, or those of its followers.