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m3n4.net October 17, 2018


Hungary's Orban to seek European Union of strong nations after landslide re-election

12 April 2018, 12:22 | Tara Lloyd

Hungary's Orban to seek European Union of strong nations after landslide re-election

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Orban won a two-thirds majority after a campaign focused on immigration, and in neighboring Austria, Sebastian Kurz became the youngest ever chancellor after allying with an anti-immigration Freedom Party.

With nearly all votes counted, a two-party coalition led by Mr Orban's Fidesz party had captured 134 of 199 seats in parliament, one more than the two thirds of seats required to amend the constitution.

In the run-up to Sunday's vote in Hungary, EPP President Joseph Daul tweeted a message wishing Fidesz "all the best" in the election, saying Orban would "continue to bring stability and prosperity".

Critics charge Orban with weakening the democratic system of checks and balances, enriching a new oligarch class of cronies with the help of funds from the European Union and greatly concentrating power.

French far-right politician Marine Le Pen, described the result on Twitter as a "great and clear victory" and said that "nationalists could soon be in the majority in Europe".

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Right-wing leaders in Europe were quick to congratulate Orban.

Orban, Hungary's longest-serving post-communist premier, opposes deeper integration of the European Union and - teaming up with Poland - has been a fierce critique of Brussels' policies.

The poll has confirmed Orban's unchallenged authority domestically and exposed the continuing weakness and disarray of the opposition.

The Jobbik party, a far-right group that has tried to tame its image over recent years and rebrand itself as an anti-corruption force, came a distant second.

As well as empowering Orban on the global stage, the result casts "a dark shadow on the future, especially concerning the attacks against the critical civil society", Hegedus added.

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French National Front leader Marine Le Pen said Orban's victory was yet another rejection of "the change of values and the mass immigration extolled by the European Union".

A corresponding bill has been a part of Orban's anti-immigration campaign, targeting United States billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, who has been promoting a policy of open borders for migrants in Eastern Europe.

Soros has rejected the government campaign against him as "distortions and lies" meant to create a false external enemy.

Orban has sought to portray himself as a defender of Christian Europe against Islamic immigration.

Definitive results from Sunday's vote will not be issued for several days, after ballots send by expatriate Hungarians and ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring countries are counted.

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