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Potato sack stunt costs far-right Hungarian MP 4.4 million forints

It was the largest fine ever for unruly conduct in the Hungarian Parliament

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Dénes Albert
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Speaker of the House László Kövér (Fidesz) slapped the highest ever fine for unruly conduct on Péter Jakab, leader of the far-right Jobbik party, for last week’s stunt when he offered Prime Minister Viktor Orbán a small sack of potatoes, news portal Alfahír reports.

The fine is 4.4 million forints (€12,081), the equivalent of three and a half month’s wages for Jakab.

As we reported earlier, Jakab, whose candidate recently lost a by-election in the northeastern Borsod county, accused Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his ruling Fidesz party of bribing and blackmailing constituents to vote for their candidate, asking, “What does a victory bought with fear and poverty taste like?”

He then held up a small sack of potatoes, presumably meant to symbolize a bribe, saying he is returning it to the sender. 

Then he left his bench, attempting to hand over the sack to Orbán, sitting in his usual front-row seat. Fidesz MPs also stood up and blocked Jakab from approaching Orbán.

Speaking to Alfahír, Jakab said the fine was yet another example of the lack of rule of law in Hungary.

“In a constitutional state, the issue could be solved through legal channels, but we are not living in a constitutional state. All we can do is appeal to the immunity commission (of Parliament), but we are not expecting any miracles,” Jakab said.

Alfahír, established as barrikad.hu in 2009, is operated by the Balanced Media Foundation, which is owned by Jakab’s party.

Title image: Leader of far-right opposition party Jobbik attempts to hand a sack of potatoes to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán Parliament on October 19, 2020. (source: Zoltán Fischer/Prime Minister’s Office)