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Monday, 3 October 2011

Jobbik splinter party officially launched; returns focus to Roma (Hungary)

Several former leading members of Jobbik announced the official launching of a new splinter party on Friday, nol.hu reports.

The Magyar Főnix Mozgalom (Hungarian Phoenix Movement, MFM) was initially formed in April but was only registered with the courts on September 15.

MFM chairman Tibor József Biber, who was deputy chairman of Jobbik until 2008, told the press that the new party would provide an alternative with voters disillusioned with Jobbik, which he said had been “eroded” from inside.

While in August Bíber criticized Jobbik for excessively focusing on questions relating to Hungary’s Roma minority – which he said could lead to a “civil war” – the new party appears to be putting a high priority on the issue, making it one of the most prominent points in its founding declaration.

At the news conference Bíber said that none of the governments of Hungary formed since the political system change had managed to solve the serious problem of “ethnic crime” – which he said could be called “Gypsy crime,” and disproportionately impacted those living in the countryside.

He said the exact size of Hungary’s Roma population should be known before their problems can be solved. The party’s deputy chair, Anna Szöőr, added that it was in the interest of the Roma population to “admit” their ethnicity in the national census launched this past weekend, otherwise researchers would again be force to work with false statistical data.