Official results from Hungary’s general election on Sunday showed nationalist Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party had won a fourth term in office by a much greater margin than pre-election polls had suggested, after a campaign overshadowed by the war in neighbouring Ukraine.
Addressing a jubilant crowd chanting his name, many of them wearing Fidesz’s orange party colour, Orban said: “We have won a great victory — a victory so great you can perhaps see it from the moon and certainly from Brussels”.
Orban’s administration has presided over repeated confrontations with the European Union, including over the neutering of the press and judiciary, and measures targeting the LGBTQ community — also the subject of a vote on Sunday. The 58-year-old, already the longest-serving head of government in the EU, was challenged by six united opposition parties seeking to roll back the “illiberal” revolution Orban’s Fidesz party has pursued during 12 consecutive years in office.
But with 94 percent of votes counted, Fidesz was on 53 percent compared to 35 percent for the opposition coalition, according to results from the national election office — a result which means the party will retain its two-thirds majority in parliament. Peter Marki-Zay, 49, the conservative leading the opposition list, addressed supporters and conceded defeat late on Sunday evening.
“I will not hide my sadness and my disappointment,” he told them, combatively accusing Fidesz of running a campaign of “hate and lies”. He added that the opposition had done “everything humanly possible” but that the campaign had been “an unequal fight” given the way in which he and other anti-Fidesz politicians had been all but banished from state media.—Agencies