Saturday

21st Jan 2017

Focus

Hungary's Orban wins another term, Jobbik support jumps

  • Orban has had several run-ins with the EU on the constitutional changes he made (Photo: European Parliament)

Hungary's centre-right Prime Minister Viktor Orban was handed another four years in government after national elections on Sunday (6 April), early results show, while the far-right Jobbik scooped a fifth of the votes.

The results indicate that ruling centre-right party Fidesz – on 45 percent of the vote – is set to retain its supermajority in parliament. A party with two-thirds of the parliamentary seats can unilaterally change the constitution.

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In a speech on Sunday night Orban said Fidesz had achieved a European record by being the party with the highest rate of support.

He also said voters had closed the debates of the past four years. The 50-year-old prime minister and his government were heavily criticised over the past years for various legislative and economic policies.

Orban, who has also had several run-ins with the EU over some of these same policies, said the vote means Hungarians have said no to exiting the EU if Hungary has a strong national government.

This was a message for the far-right party, Jobbik, which, as well as promising to be tough on crime, advocates a referendum on membership.

Jobbik scored 21 percent in the election, up from 17 percent in 2010, and more than polls had projected. Party leader Gabor Vonar said he had the strongest national radical party in the European Union.

The leftist alliance, Unity, got 25 percent while the green LMP barely made the five percent threshold.

Voter turnout was 61 percent, lower than four years ago.

Gordon Bajnai, former technocrat prime minister and leader of the opposition's coalition said the alliance in its form was unable to make an attractive offer to Hungary.

He accused Fidesz of manipulating the election in its favour and of dominating the media and said there was no reason to congratulate the party.

During the campaign, the opposition said that the elections were free, but not fair.

Looking to the immediate future, Bajnai called on supporters to start campaigning for the European Parliamentary elections, in late May.

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

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