Viktor Orban maintains firm control of the Hungarian Parliament

by Garry Watts April 11, 2018, 4:55
Viktor Orban maintains firm control of the Hungarian Parliament

Near-complete results showed that his right-wing Fidesz party romped home with nearly half of the votes, or 48.8 per cent, very likely giving it a two-thirds majority and a legislative carte blanche. He bounced back in 2010 with a two-thirds majority, a feat he repeated four years later.

Before the election, Orban's government had warned that Hungary would descend into chaos should it become an "immigrant country" like France or Belgium, with funds meant for Hungarian families or the country's underprivileged Roma minority diverted to migrants.

Foreigners deemed to support asylum seekers could be stopped from entering Hungary, NGOs staff face being barred from approaching border areas and organisations will undergo "security tests".

The parliamentary elections in Hungary were closely monitored across Europe, as Orban has had a troubled relationship with European Union institutions due to his rejection of the bloc's refugee resettlement scheme and what many see as his attacks on civil society, the media and the country's institutions.

Asked about possible changes in Hungary's policy toward Germany, Orban said: "We would like to establish continually improving relations with every country".

Orban's victory, however, is perceived by many in the West as a blow to democracy in Hungary.

This is being seen as a crushing blow by those who support the socialist minority and the unlimited immigration policies of the European Union. He has no need to suppress the opposition or tamper with the votes because he does indeed appear to reflect the will of the people and their desire for national sovereignty and control of their borders.

Orbán's sweeping victory can mostly be attributed to his party's anti-immigration and anti-globalist campaign.

"Hungary voted with its heart and its head, ignoring threats from Brussels and Soros's billions".

In the parliamentary elections in Hungary has won the ruling coalition
Viktor Orban maintains firm control of the Hungarian Parliament

Highlighting the collapse of the opposition to Orban and the far-right was the stunning success of the openly xenophobic, neo-Fascist party Jobbik, which captured a stunning 20% of the vote.

With nearly all votes counted, the nationalist Jobbik party was in second place with 20 per cent of the vote.

Simicska's outlets were often considered friendly to the Jobbik party, a former radical nationalist group that moved toward the political center.

Agnes von der Muhll, spokeswoman for the French foreign ministry, said her country and Hungary would "pursue their political dialogue in the service of the European project and its values".

The number of independent media outlets has dwindled in recent years as business interests close to Orban have bought up TV stations and national and regional newspapers.

"Dear friends, there's a big battle behind us, we secured a historic victory - we got a chance, we created a chance for us to protect Hungary", the Hungarian premier said.

"Fidesz effectively mobilised in the last days on the countryside, the opposition seriously underperformed, far below its expectations", Daniel Hegedus, research adviser at the Freedom House thinktank, told AFP.

The politician expressed belief that Budapest's relations with the European Union after the prime minister "received the feedback from the population that this is the right way to go" will deteriorate further.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, a conservative governing in a coalition with the far right, said in a tweet that Hungary was an "important neighbour and trade partner", adding: "I look forward to future collaboration".

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