String of harassment cases mires party

A new instance of harassment within the Hungarian Jobbik party has come to light in a letter written by the party's former chief of staff. The document also revealed that another former MP who failed to win a seat in the parliamentary elections held on April 3, is trying to regain her mandate by taking advantage of the scandal surrounding a fellow party member.

POLITICS JULY 25. 2022 17:03

Mrs Anita Potocskane is attempting to take advantage of the harassment scandal of a sitting Jobbik MP. At the end of May, the deputy president of the Hungarian party told the current party president, Marton Gyongyosi, that “she will take the place of MP Brenner Koloman in September, because he will have to be recalled by the party presidency by then for being embroiled in a harassment scandal at Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE) [in Budapest]”. All this was reported by the party’s former chief of staff in an internal party communication.

In the ominous letter, Eniko Molnar wrote, among other things, that Potocskane spoke to Gyongyosi on 26 May in Budapest, who was not even the president of Jobbik at the time. Potocskane must have been very determined to win a mandate as her current attempt to gain the seat of Koloman was not the first. It is clear from Ms Molnar’s letter that the ex-MP had previously tried take the place of Janos Bencze in the party group by convincing then Jobbik President Peter Jakab about the MP’s incompetence.

Last week, the Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet obtained the said letter, which, according to others, was written by Jobbik former chief of staff Eniko Molnar to fellow members, right before the party group replaced Peter Jakab as parliamentary group head.

Infighting

In the letter, Molnar recalls that after the dismal election results of the Jobbik party in the spring, MPs who lost their seat, “were beside themselves and tried to regain their parliamentary mandate by any means”. “Gyorgy Szilagyi was the first, asking Peter Balassa to give up his mandate. As this did not work, he exerted pressure directly on party President Peter Jakab to secure his place. This also failed. Then Anita Potocskane informed Jakab that Janos Bencze was unfit to be an MP, so she would talk him into handing over his mandate to her. Peter [Jakab] told her that he does not support such a move, because this will result in the constant shifting of mandates,” reads the letter, in which Molnar also wrote sensitive information about Brenner Koloman, which have now come to light.

Koloman Brenner is a lecturer at the German Studies Institute of Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE) and was the institute’s deputy director between 2014 and 2017. He is currently the deputy leader of Jobbik’s parliamentary group, a member of the parliamentary committee on legislation and vice-chair of the committee on foreign affairs.

Regarding the harassment scandal the MP of the Jobbik is allegedly embroiled in, we have contacted Laszlo Borhy, the rector of ELTE, to inquire how many people may be involved in the case, and when the incident mentioned by Jobbik’s former chief of staff could have taken place. As far as our news agency knows, no complaint has been filed against Koloman Brenner at the competent prosecution office of investigation or the police, and if a complaint is lodged, it will be referred to the Central Chief Prosecution Office of Investigation as Mr Brenner is an MP and an investigation can only be launched after a request to suspend his parliamentary immunity has been granted.

Most recently, Jobbik member Istvan Foldi was accused by a woman, also a member of Jobbik, of attempting to rape her at an event organised by Jobbik last December. Anita V claims that Istvan Foldi locked her into a room and tried to rape her at a team-building dinner party in the village of Okoritofulopos in eastern Hungary. Police are investigating the case.

POLITICS

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Hungary, jobbik, sexual harassment