Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban has declared victory in the country’s national elections, claiming a mandate for a fourth consecutive term in power.
With 43% of votes tallied, Viktor Orban’s Fidesz-led coalition had won 57% of the vote while a pro-European opposition coalition, United for Hungary, had 31%, according to the National Election Office. Addressing Fidesz party officials and supporters, Orban said: “We won a victory so big that you can see it from the moon, and you can certainly see it from Brussels.”
The campaign was largely dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The six main opposition parties are for the first time fielding a joint list, determined to remove from office the “illiberal” revolution Orban’s Fidesz party has pursued during 12 consecutive years in office.
Their list involves repeated confrontations with EU institutions, including over the neutering of the press and judiciary, and measures targeting the LGBT community.
Challenger Peter Marki-Zay, head of the main opposition alliance, cast his ballot accompanied by his wife and seven children after attending mass in the city of Hodmezovasarhely, where he inflicted a shock defeat on Fidesz’s candidate to become mayor in 2018.
He said the opposition had to battle “unfair and impossible circumstances.” With the opposition all but absent from state media, he said: “Regardless of the result, this election is not free.” Orban dismissed such complaints and insisted the vote was “fair.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: RFERL.ORG