László Toroczkai, the leader of the far-right 64 Counties Youth Movement (Hatvannégy Vármegye Ifjúsági Mozgalom), was elected mayor of the Csongrád County village of Ásotthalom (pop: 4,052) on Sunday after the previous municipal council was disbanded.
Toroczkai, who ran as a candidate of Jobbik, swept the election with 71.5% of the 1,264 votes cast. The only other candidate was Ferenc Petró of the governing Fidesz party.
Toroczkai’s lopsided victory was considered all the more odd given that he received support from the local branch of the Democratic Coalition (DK), the party of former Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány – whom Toroczkai in 2011 was caught on tape saying he would shoot if given the chance.
One local DK party member, József Márki, went as far as saying he would vote for Toroczkai even if Gyurcsány himself called him to tell him not to. Márki was later expelled from the party and the leaders of the DK distanced themselves from this support, though Toroczkai said he received ballot nomination papers from several other local DK members.
Toroczkai gained widespread notoriety following the 2006 siege of the Hungarian Television building and has since remained a key figure on the fringes of the country’s political life.
A former journalist once affiliated with the now-moribund MIÉP party, he later founded the 64 Counties Youth Movement, which is mostly known for its opposition to the Trianon Treaty that saw the dismemberment of historic Hungary following World War I.
Over the years, he has been barred from entering Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. [444.hu]