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Hungary votes to keep prime minister and right wing in power
9.4.18
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"BUDAPEST —Viktor Orban, Hungary’s staunchly anti-migrant prime minister, was reelected Sunday after his right-wing Fidesz party was projected to win a supermajority of seats in parliament. The resounding victory will probably permit Orban’s government to continue with democratic backsliding.

Orban’s ruling coalition was expected to win 133 of 199 seats in parliament, according to the first results from Hungary’s national election website, with more than 90 percent of votes tallied. That barely gives him the two-thirds majority he needs to rewrite the constitution as he sees fit. The largest opposition group was projected to be the far-right Jobbik party, which shares much of Fidesz’s anti-immigrant platform and was expected to claim 26 seats.

The vote — easily the most consequential since Hungary’s post-communist transition — was widely seen as a reflection on the state of democracy and the rule of law in a European Union member state that in recent years has been sliding toward autocracy. The result — coming in an election with high turnout — quashed any hopes of an opposition presence in a country that has essentially been a one-party state for nearly a decade.

In the past eight years in power, Orban — in two consecutive terms as prime minister — has enacted drastic changes to Hungary’s constitution, attempted to dismantle its system of checks and balances, and sought to silence his critics, notably in the Hungarian media."

See: Hungary votes to keep prime minister and right wing in power (Washington Post, link)

And: József Böröcz: “Orbán’s effects have already extended beyond the borders of Hungary” (LeftEast, link):

"'Illiberal’ or not, there is a rising trend of right-wing populism (or nationalist conservatism) in Europe. Could Orbán’s ‘illiberalism’ be considered a forerunner of the policies of those parties?

Both.

First and foremost, Orbán is very much a follower of west European patterns in the sense that west European racism, nationalism and overall right-wing politics is clearly the direct, unmitigated source of inspiration and specific ideas for east European right-wing nationalism / racism / anti-democratic politics, etc. Western Europe is where east Europeans have historically learned how to be nationalist, racist and anti-democratic. This is part of the intellectual impact of west European political culture on east European societies. The latter understand this as part of the “European tradition”—and of course they see themselves as committed followers of the “European tradition.” East European societies have a strong commitment to ignoring the self-searching, conflict-filled impact of that tradition in today’s western Europe and the rest of the world.

On the other hand, Orbán is, of course, also a forerunner in the sense that Hungary has “run” in its support for such politics farther toward the right than any contemporary EU-member society has, with the possible exception of Poland."

See also: "a rough English translation of the campaign speech delivered by Fidesz chairman Viktor Orbán in Székesfehérvâr on Friday, April 6th": Viktor Orbán: Only Fidesz can protect Hungary from Brussels, the UN, and George Soros (The Budapest Beacon, link):

“They want to take our country away. Opposition parties in the service of foreign interests want to come to power. They want to give power to opposition politicians in the pay of foreigners so that they can demolish the fence and accept from the hand of Brussels the compulsory settlement quota, and in this way turn Hungary into a country of immigrants in order to serve the financial and power interests of their clients.”

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