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Jobbik gains ‘a dark day for Hungary,’ European Jewish leader says

(JTA) — Electoral advances in Hungary by the ultranationalist party Jobbik should be a source of grave concern to Europe, the president of the European Jewish Congress said.

Jobbik won nearly 21 percent of the votes in Sunday’s parliamentary election, up from nearly 16 percent four years ago. It remained the third largest political party in Hungary.

“This is truly a dark day for Hungary,” said EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor in a statement issued after the close of polls. “The gains made by Jobbik, an unashamedly neo-Nazi political party, should serve as a wake-up call for the whole of Europe. Once again in Europe, we are witnessing democracy being appropriated by those are the enemies of democracy.”

In November 2012, Jobbik lawmaker Marton Gyongyosi suggested during a parliament session that a census be taken of Jews in the country, and that a list of all Jewish lawmakers should be compiled for national security reasons.

“This is a party that feeds on hate,” Kantor said. “The new Hungarian government must ensure now that this hate is not tolerated — not by the government, not in parliament and not on the streets of Hungary.”

Hungarian voters returned Prime Minister Victor Orban and his Fidesz party to power, with 132 of 199 seats in the parliament.

Jobbik pledged to create new jobs, crack down on crime, renegotiate state debt and hold a referendum on European Union membership, according to Reuters.

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