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Lawmaker wears outlawed outfit in Hungary

Chairman of the radical nationalist party For A Better Hungary Movement 'Jobbik' Gabor Vona, center, during the opening session of the new Hungarian parliament, in Budapest, Hungary, May 14, 2010, as he takes off his jacket in which he arrived, revealing a garment resembling the uniform of the controversial paramilitary group Hungarian Guard already banned. Chairman of the radical nationalist party For A Better Hungary Movement "Jobbik" Gabor Vona, center, during the opening session of the new Hungarian parliament, in Budapest, Hungary, May 14, 2010, as he takes off his jacket in which he arrived, revealing a garment resembling the uniform of the controversial paramilitary group Hungarian Guard already banned. (AP Photo/MTI, Imre Foeldi, Pool)
May 14, 2010

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BUDAPEST, Hungary—A newly elected legislator wore a banned right-wing outfit in Hungary's parliament on Friday, leading to condemnation from other politicians and possible legal action against him.

Gabor Vona, the leader of Hungary's nationalist Jobbik party, wore the banned black vest while taking his oath of office.

The vests -- worn by the Hungarian Guard extremist group -- are reminiscent of those used by Hungary's pro-Nazi groups of the 1940s. The Guard was disbanded last year and its black outfits banned, although the group has continued its activities.

President Laszlo Solyom condemned Vona's action, and outgoing Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai said that the justice minister would report Vona to prosecutors.

"If Jobbik's faction leader swears to uphold the law while boasting of breaking the law, with his false oath he will be representing untruthfulness in the new parliament," Solyom said in a statement.

While recognizing that Jobbik was in parliament as a result of democratic elections, Solyom urged the other legislators to be vigilant of the party.

"I am sure that the overwhelming majority in parliament will always defend the basic values of the Constitution and civilization, and reject the violation of these values," Solyom told the lawmakers of the new legislature.

During the election campaign, Jobbik, which finished third with 16.7 percent of the votes last month, often used anti-Gypsy and anti-Semitic images and messages.

Vona has parliamentary immunity, to which he can resign voluntarily or have it taken away by a two-thirds majority in parliament.

Vona told Hungarian state news agency MTI that if wearing the vest was illegal, he would consider it an act of civil disobedience and was willing to face the consequences.

Also during Friday's parliamentary session, Solyom nominated Viktor Orban, whose center-right Fidesz party won April's election in a landslide, as the next prime minister.

Orban's government is expected to be sworn toward the end of May.