The rise of Hungary’s far right Jobbik party has overshadowed the centre right’s victory in national elections.
Also known as the Movement for a Better Hungary, Jobbik took more than 16 percent of the vote, coming just four points behind the socialist party which has ruled for the past eight years.
Jobbik has won an unprecedented 26 seats in parliament and came within a whisper of becoming the country’s main opposition party.
It has a military-style uniformed wing and links to the Hungarian Guard, an extremist group with uniforms based on a wartime pro-Nazi party which has seen a recent surge of support.
“I think Jobbik is the only party in Hungary that does anything in the national interest. The others, unfortunately, have all betrayed the country,” said Laszlo Molnar, a member of the Hungarian Guard, which is also known as Magyar Garda.
“Actually, I am a racist,” he added. “So what? Why do I have to like those who are in fact my enemies?”
The rise of the far right has been blamed on rising unemployment, social tensions with Hungary’s Roma minority and a contracting economy.
The country was only able to avoid financial meltdown at the end of 2008 after a 20 billion euro bailout by the IMF and World Bank among other institutions.