Krisztina Morvai

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Krisztina Morvai

Morvai Krisztina.jpg
Krisztina Morvai in 2009
Member of the European Parliament
In office
14 July 2009 1 July 2019
Personal details
Born (1963-06-22) 22 June 1963 (age 57)
Budapest, Hungary
Political partyElected on Jobbik ticket
Spouse(s) György Baló (until 2011)
  • Vera
  • Sára
  • Lili
Alma mater Eötvös Loránd University
King's College London
OccupationPolitician, lawyer

Krisztina Morvai (born 22 June 1963) is a Hungarian lawyer and nationalist politician. She was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), having been elected on the list of the political party Jobbik – Movement for a Better Hungary in the 2009 European Parliament elections. She was re-elected in 2014. Morvai is not a member of Jobbik, [1] and later supported Fidesz. [2]


Life and career

Morvai was born in Budapest in 1963 to parents Klári Fekete and Miklós Morvai. After graduating from ELTE Apáczai Csere János High School, she went to Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest, getting a law degree cum laude. After graduation she gained qualifications to practice as a judge in Hungary, but instead of working in that capacity she went on to teach at the university, currently as an associate professor. [3] In 1989 she was the first recipient of a British Government scholarship for students in central Europe and was presented with her award by UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher personally. She used the scholarship to study advanced law at King's College London gaining a Master of Laws degree. In 1993–1994 she taught law in the United States at the University of Wisconsin–Madison as a Fulbright scholar. [4] She primarily researches the area of penal law, dealing with the retrospective administration of justice, the question of abortion, victim's rights in criminal procedure, the dignity and rights of the HIV positive, child abuse and sexual exploitation, the problem of prostitution, discrimination and domestic violence. She is author of the book Terror a családban (Terror in the family) a book on domestic violence.

In the 1990s, Morvai worked for the European Commission of Human Rights [5] and between 2003 and 2006 she was a member of the Women's Anti-discrimination Committee of the United Nations. [6]

Morvai had come to international attention several times over various human rights issues. She was the Hungarian member of a UN Women's Rights Committee.

Morvai is the mother of three daughters, including twins. She was formerly married to Hungarian television reporter György Baló, but the couple divorced in 2011. [7] After announcing her candidacy for the European elections, Morvai became a focus of attention for the media, shunning interviews with the United Kingdom press in light of what she saw as biased attacks. [8] During the election campaign, Morvai said that if Jobbik entered parliament, it would join “one of the eurosceptic factions which will only form in the light of the election results”. On 7 June 2009, Morvai was elected MEP (Member of the European Parliament) along with two of her colleagues on the Jobbik ticket. After the election Morvai stated that despite the large amount of defamation Jobbik was calling on its political opponents to come together and cooperate to achieve the goals of the country. [9] [10] György Baló was not given his usual role of leading the election coverage to avoid accusations of bias. [11]

Morvai has been called antisemitic by Haaretz, [12] especially after her statement that "so-called proud Hungarian Jews should go back to playing with their tiny little circumcised tails.", written in a public forum to an American-Hungarian Jew living in New York, Gábor Barat. [13]

In the UN Women's Rights Committee Morvai conducted research into what she called the "inhumane living conditions" of Palestinian women, [14] which resulted in a complaint being filed against her by the Israeli government. [15] In 2006, after she was removed from her UN position, she complained that this was due to Israeli political pressure which resulted in her losing her seat and being replaced by a Hungarian Jewish woman, Andrea Pető, whom she described as "a well-known Zionist activist". [16] Pető, actually an activist of the feminist, Jewish traditionalist cultural foundation Esztertáska, did not receive the necessary votes to be confirmed to the committee. [16] In March 2009 the Jewish Telegraphic Agency [17] cited a report in a German weekly called Jungle World, according to which Morvai "advised" the "liberal-bolshevik Zionists" to "start thinking of where to flee and where to hide" in a 2008 speech. [18] Morvai was further criticized for alleged anti-semitism for a letter addressed to the editors of the prestigious Hungarian literary weekly Élet és Irodalom in which she referred to the community to which the author of the article she was responding to belonged as "his type" or "their type", while never actually using the words "Jew" or "Jewish". [19] In February 2009, Morvai objected to Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip and called it a "mass murder" and "genocide" of the Palestinian people and in an open letter to the Israeli ambassador to Hungary wrote that Israel held itself above the law and that its leaders would be imprisoned for their actions in Gaza, she continued, "The only way to talk to people like you is by assuming the style of Hamas. I wish all of you lice-infested, dirty murderers will receive Hamas' 'kisses.'" [20] In November 2009, Palestinian Return Centre, a pro-Palestinian advocacy organisation, withdrew Morvai's invitation to a London conference in support of Palestine. [21]

Open letters

Morvai wrote an open letter [22] to Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, United States Ambassador to Hungary, on the occasion that the ambassador visited the headquarters of three parties but not that of the Jobbik, on the night of the 2010 general election. This was answered [23] by Richard Field, an American businessman living in Hungary, the main financial supporter of the party Politics Can Be Different.

Personal life

She was married to Hungarian TV presenter, journalist György Baló. They have two daughters, Vera and Sára. Morvai has another daughter, Lili, from her early relationship. [24]

Books and articles

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  1. Kispál, Gergely (27 May 2009). "EP Elections - Interview with Jobbik candidate Krisztina Morvai". The Budapest Times . Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  2. "Morvai Krisztina tolja a Fidesz kampányát". . 30 March 2018.
  3. "Dr. Morvai Krisztina önéletrajza, (Curriculum Vitae of Krisztina Morvai)" (in Hungarian). . 8 June 2009. Archived from the original on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2009. Dr. Morvai Krisztina önéletrajza...ELTE Állam és Jogtudományi Karán szereztem jogász diplomát. Bírói szakvizsgám, valamint LL. M (Master of Law) és Ph.D (régi fogalmak szerint kandidátus) tudományos fokozatom vanExternal link in |publisher= (help)
  4. Jewish Telegraphic Agency Archived 2009-06-14 at the Wayback Machine
  5. "European Parliament Official Member Page" . Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  6. "Jobbik's new EU-candidate: Dr Krisztina Morvai". Jobbik. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  7. ,, 6 July 2011
  8. Freeman, Colin (24 May 2009). "Feminine face of Hungary's far-Right Jobbik movement seeks MEP's seat". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  9. MTI [ permanent dead link ]
  10. Morvai Krisztina: "Nem leszünk második Palesztina"
  11. Amikor hiányzik Baló György
  12. "'Hungarian Jews should stick to playing with their circumcised tails' Israel News | Haaretz". Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  13. Traynor, Ian (7 June 2009). "Rightwingers set to wipe out leaders of Hungarian revolution". The Guardian. London.
  14. Women’s Anti-Discrimination Committee Voices Concern about Inequalities among Ethnic Groups, as It Takes up Israel’s Report "it was obvious that Palestinian women had a second-class status compared with Jewish women in Israel. The Government justified such treatment of Palestinian women without Israeli citizenship with security reasons..."
  15. Morvai Krisztina portréja: Gyurcsány miatt lett hazaszerető
  16. 1 2 "Morvai v Pető". Heti Világgazdaság. 7 August 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  17. Hungarian Jews reeling from far-right party’s gains Archived 2009-06-14 at the Wayback Machine
  18. "Der Marsch auf Budapest" (in German). Jungle World. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  19. Morvai's letter to Élet és Irodalom, 14 November 2008.
  20. Hungary far-rightist: I rejoiced at news of IDF deaths in Gaza, Haaretz , 6 February 2009
  21. BNP's European ally Krisztina Morvai axed from London conference after protests, The Observer, Sunday, 15 November 2009.
  22. Krisztina Morvai's letter to the American ambassador to Hungary
  23. An open letter to Krisztina Morvai from Richard Field
  24. Morvai Krisztina - Biography