Hungary set for third Orban term after crushing poll win

Lucy Bush
April 12, 2018

Emboldened by Sunday's landslide election victory in Hungary, Viktor Orban's hardline anti-migrant party plans to hand itself powers to shut charities backed by the billionaire financier George Soros which are accused of helping refugees.

Those borders have been fortified since a migrant influx in 2015, when hundreds of thousands of people fled wars and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

Far from stepping back from his campaign rhetoric which was fought on an anti-immigration platform, Mr Orban said his re-election had provided him with a "strong mandate" to introduce a raft of changes in the Hungarian parliament.

According to the Orban government, Hungary will descend into chaos should it become an "immigrant country" like France or Belgium, with funds meant for Hungarian families or the country's underprivileged Roma minority diverted to migrants, whose presence will weaken Hungary's security and increase its terror risk.

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A spokesman said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker would write to Orban to congratulate him on his victory. European Union leaders have warned those laws would undermine the country's democracy.

Whilst not providing precise details on these changes, Mr Orban said it would include "in a large part with new people and a new structures". Poland's deputy foreign minister and envoy to the EU, Konrad Szymanski, hailed his victory as "a confirmation of Central Europe's emancipation policy".

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.

Orbán's Fidesz party won for the third straight time and faces little opposition from the opposition with the Nationalist Jobbik coming a distant second with just 26 seats followed by the Socialists with 20 lawmakers.

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Some of the NGOs that could be hit by the new law said they expected a hardening in the new government's stance. The block is two-thirds of parliamentary seats (133).

Orbán's government has been accused at home and overseas of centralizing power and undermining democratic checks and balances, with the OSCE also raising concerns following the 2014 parliamentary election.

In a speech last month, Orban had said he would take unspecified "moral, political and legal" measures against his opponents in the event of a Fidesz victory, prompting fears of a clampdown on opposition.

"Well, the government has successfully implemented its hate campaign".

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