Could a man in a chicken costume be voted into the Hungarian Parliament?

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Could a man in a chicken costume be voted into the Hungarian Parliament?

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József Tichy-Rács is not like the other candidates in April's Hungarian General Elections — he's running for office in a full chicken suit and mask.

Why? "I think people in Hungary have lost trust in human politicians, so it's reasonable to assume they'll trust a chicken or a dog," he told Euronews.

What is the Two-Tailed Dog Party?

Tichy-Rács in his chicken costume and blazer.

The independent candidate's "Two-tailed Dog Party" was founded in Szeged in 2006 and also has candidates running dressed as a gorilla and Father Christmas.

Their name, he said, stems from the happiness represented by a dog's wagging tail and this party has so much joy, they had to double up the metaphor.

"We are the most serious party in the history of Hungarian politics," said the chicken.

Gathering support

Tichy-Rács said collecting the requisite 500 signatures to run as a candidate in the county of Győr-Moson-Sopron wasn't difficult for him, even in his vivid getup.

"People were wholeheartedly supporting me," he said. "I just had to go and shout my promises at people and they were eager to sign up.

Campaign promises

Tichy-Rács wears a blazer over his chicken suit 'otherwise people wouldn't take him seriously'.

These promises included buying a new armchair — the ones the current MPs don't look comfortable enough for this fowl.

He also wants to widen a stream in Sopron and put a harbour on it allowing larger boats to travel down to the city, to benefit the local economy.

This isn't a purely altruistic move, however, as it would allow Tichy-Rács to fulfil one of his goals: "I'd like to go home in a submarine at the end of a long hard day and I'll need a jacuzzi in the submarine to feel comfortable."

Politically speaking, his party would like to "demolish democracy because people are sick and tired of it anyway".

What would they like to see in its place? The chicken would like to establish a Kratocracy, "something where not only the appointed leaders could steal but also the everyday working class," he said.

"I think that would be a nice entanglement."

What will he do if he wins?

Currently living in Austria, Tichy-Rács, said he'd move back to Hungary if he's elected.

"If I manage to earn as much as the other politicians, then I can cater to all my human and chicken needs, from the salary and move back to Hungary.

"I also promise that I'll go on holidays abroad — that's something that not many Hungarians can afford but politicians definitely can," he added.

Competition for smaller parties

What does the chicken say to critics who say joke parties like the Two-tailed Dog Party syphon votes from smaller, more serious parties?

Tichy-Rács estimates there are 40 smaller parties on the national candidates' list and he was "eager and willing to take votes away from them".

He sees himself as "the most potent opponent" for rival parties big or small.

Tichy-Rács repairing a large pothole on the campaign trail

On April 8 Tichy-Rács will go up against candidates from other Hungarian parties including Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s nationalist Fidesz.

Gergely Gulyas, leader of Fidesz’ parliamentary group, on Friday told magazine Hetek that it was unlikely his party would win two-thirds of seats as in the 2010 and 2014 elections.

“Our clear goal is to form a government. A hundred mandates are enough for this. Everything that comes above that is a much-valued gift,” Gulyas was cited as saying.