Uniform Disorder

New Hungarian Guard members march in formation at Stadler Stadium in Akasztó on August 19.

New Hungarian Guard members march in formation at Stadler Stadium in Akasztó on August 19.

On August 19, 2013 the New Hungarian Guard initiated about 100 new members at an abandoned football stadium in the village of Akasztó (central Hungary) before Jobbik President Gábor Vona and a replica of the Holy Crown of Hungary (source in Hungarian).

The Orbán government has two legal means at its disposal to prevent the New Hungarian Guard from holding such initiations or engaging in any other public activity:

— the 2012 verdict of an appeals court that the organization is identical to the original Hungarian Guard banned in 2009, thus its public gatherings violate Hungary’s Law on Assembly;

— and the government’s own 2011 amendment to Hungary’s Criminal Code prohibiting “uniformed crime.”

Yet the government did nothing to stop the Hungarian Guard initiation on August 19.

Conclusion: Incompetence or Hypocrisy.

Either the Interior Ministry’s security and law-enforcement agencies were unaware of the event, which the New Hungarian Guard’s website noted took place with “no police harassment thanks to exceptionally professional organization”; or, more likely, the Orbán government permitted the New Hungarian Guard to conduct its initiation because it does not want to alienate potential radical-nationalist supporters through a crackdown on the Jobbik-supported paramilitary organization a half year ahead of the 2014 National Assembly election.

 

Jobbik President Gábor Vona watches the initiation ceremony.

Jobbik President Gábor Vona watches the New Hungarian Guard initiation ceremony.

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