Tuesday

18th Dec 2018

Fidesz secures supermajority in Hungarian elections

  • Budapest and the Danube: Fidesz won a two thirds majority in the elections, as predicted (Photo: www.spotmob.com)

Hungary's right-wing opposition party, Fidesz, has won a two-thirds majority in the country's general election after a second round of voting on Sunday (25 April).

Led by former prime minister Victor Orban, the party has secured 263 out of 386 seats, according to the national election committee.

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The outgoing Socialists, whose leadership tendered its resignation en masse on Sunday as soon as the official results were released, won 59 seats, but managed to remain in second place and to not be eclipsed by the far-right Jobbik party.

The extreme nationalist Jobbik, or Movement for a Better Hungary, got 47 seats, while the brand new green party, Politics Can Be Different, or LMP, won 16.

"We saw a revolution in the polling stations," Mr Orban said after his victory, which has yielded a strong mandate that will allow his government to pass changes to the constitution.

"Hungarians today brought down a regime and founded a new one," he said. "They founded the regime of national co-operation instead of the reign of oligarchs."

Frustrated with high levels of corruption and bitter about the government's handling of the financial crisis, which saw Budapest agree to austerity measures in return for an IMF bail-out, voters turned to Mr Orban, who has promised to create a million new jobs over the next 10 years, to reduce taxation and to streamline the country's bureaucracy.

In opposition, he criticised the IMF-related cutbacks and said he wants to renegotiate the bail-out deal, even petitioning alongside trade union leaders. But in recent months he has tacked to the right, saying he will enact structural reforms, and has been more often seen on platforms with businessmen.

In a move that may worry Hungary's EU neighbours, Mr Orban has also promised to award citizenship to people of Hungarian descent in other countries, opening his victory speech by speaking to: "Hungarians within and beyond the borders."

Many Hungarians believe their country was unfairly carved up by the post-WWI Treaty of Trianon, in which Hungary lost some 72 percent of its territory.

He also underscored his support for the EU in the victory address: "Hungary has strengthened its commitment to democracy, its position in Europe and in the European Union," he said.

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