Hungary Election 2018 Fidesz Viktor Orbán
Budapest, 2018. április 8. Orbán Viktor miniszterelnök, a Fidesz elnöke (középen, b7) a párt választási eredményváró rendezvényén a Bálna Budapest rendezvényközpontban az országgyûlési képviselõ-választás napján, 2018. április 8-án. Mögötte Szájer József, a Fidesz európai parlamenti képviselõje, Szijjártó Péter külgazdasági és külügyminiszter (takarásban), Semjén Zsolt nemzetpolitikáért felelõs miniszterelnök-helyettes, a Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt (KDNP) elnöke és felesége, Semjénné Menus Gabriella, Gyürk András, a Fidesz európai parlamenti képviselõje, a párt stratégiai igazgatója, Németh Szilárd, a Fidesz alelnöke, Rogán Antal, a Miniszterelnöki Kabinetirodát vezetõ miniszter, Novák Katalin, a Fidesz alelnöke, Balog Zoltán, az emberi erõforrások minisztere és Gulyás Gergely, a Fidesz parlamenti frakcióvezetõje (b-j). MTI Fotó: Koszticsák Szilárd

Online daily Szeretlek Magyarország has collected the strongest opinions on yesterday’s election results from abroad. Their findings conclude that western media thought it obvious that Fidesz would win again.

The Italian leftist La Repubblica writes that ‘Orbán made it eventually’. They describe the Hungarian PM as a charismatic, nationalistic, conservative politician who finds national sovereignty important and who has been given yet another chance to improve and further develop his ‘illiberal democracy’. According to the Rome-based newspaper, Orbán draws inspiration openly and straight from Putin and Erdogan to continue his tough fight against migration and the ‘so-called dictates’ of the European Union, all the while, the EU is helping Budapest to grow and flower.

The leftist newspaper finds that even though Orbán has been continually accused of corruption, overt supervision of the media and of different institutions (like universities, if you have read our article covering this incident), and of appropriating 30% of EU money by the opposition,

it seems that his campaign built on the migrant issue and on the ‘Soros plan’ has worked out in the end.

‘Orbán is Hungary’s absolute ruler’, we read in the words of the Corriere della Sera. The paper highlights the fact that the Hungarian prime minister is the second among the longest-serving country leaders of Europe. The first on the list is Angela Merkel. Orbán won a majority in parliament again, just like in the past eight years, during which the country was fully under his control.

Just like the La Repubblica, the Milan-based paper, Corriere della Sera concludes that the campaign that portrayed Viktor Orbán as the protector of the nation, the champion of the western Christian culture in the face of the African and Middle-Eastern Islamic invasion, secured his position – again. The paper draws attention to the fact that

even though numerous opposition candidates have withdrawn their candidacy in favour of others, Fidesz still managed to snatch 97 mandates.

‘Viktor Orbán’s eyes were filled with tears. Late in the evening, on 8 April, the Hungarian PM advocating sovereignty thanked his voters for their “prayers” for him and their trust in Fidesz. One could feel that this man – who was accustomed to engaging in war with his words – was relieved: he was not sure, not until the very last moment, that his strategy was convincing enough’ – writes the Le Monde.

The French paper continues their tale in an ironical manner: The future-past PM can now have his well-deserved good night’s sleep: he can rule over the 9.8 Hungarian residents of the Central European country, over a nation that he ‘wants to save’ for four more years. He can now stand his ground against the world – which he finds dangerous and hostile – with a secured and lengthened legitimacy in his hands

The Parisian newspaper mentions that the leader of the French right-wing National Front, Marine Le Pen, was among the first politicians to congratulate Orbán. But those German, Italian and Dutch politicians who share the same ideas as the Hungarian PM were quick to express their support too. In the meantime,

although the moderate conservative European politicians were slightly timid in their congratulating speeches, they still showed support to the Hungarian PM, despite the fact that Orbán will soon have to fight them as well.

Le Figaro asked young Hungarian voters about their opinions on the results, who said that the only thing that would have kept them in Hungary was if this ‘larcenous government would clear out’.

‘The Orbán-government’s ever-growing authoritarianism, their corruption scandals and their filthy campaign brought upon a lot of exasperation among the voters, but this shock was obviously not enough to break Fidesz’ – digresses the French paper. Le Figaro finds that their win is partly a result of the voting system that favours Fidesz and a result of the weak and divided opposition. Sadly,

the latter ones could not be helped nor by the desperate campaign rallies, nor by the unexpected candidacy withdrawals and nor by the tactical voting launched on social media.

‘Orbán secured the countryside, but lost the younger generation’s vote’ – sums up BBC’s Nick Thorpe. Thorpe argues that this win will only further Orbán’s legitimacy in Europe.

Those who voted against Fidesz have two things to comfort themselves with: the majority of voters from Budapest chose an opposition mandate, and Fidesz lost the majority of the younger voters. Deriving from the latter fact, younger ministers will make it into the next government to solve this problem. BBC writes that this outcome is a threat against organisations that fight for human rights and against corruption, as

Orbán promised that a ‘political, ethical and legal reckoning’ awaits his opponents.

According to Guardian, the election outcome is a devastating loss for the Hungarian liberal opposition, which cautiously – yet optimistically – believed that they could win against Fidesz.

Public surveys revealed that more Hungarians wanted a ‘regime change’ that in 2014 or 2010, but because of the division among the opposition parties, it was an easy win for Fidesz. The leftist paper from London reminds readers that the Hungarian voting system allows a parliament majority without a voting majority, and the Orbán-government exploited this during the previous years.

New York Times is not at all surprised by the results, mostly because of the divided opposition and because of the unfair and unequal conditions. At the same time, draws attention to the fact that the leaders of the west find Orbán’s governing style to be dangerous concerning the rule of law and the freedom of the press. The American press believes that

Orbán’s win will only encourage those who are playing by the same rules as him, for example, the Polish leaders. reports that the ex-leader of the UK Independent Party, Nigel Farage, tweeted that “Viktor Orbán is the strongest leader in Europe and the EU’s biggest nightmare”. UKIP was the strongest advocate of Brexit, spreading a serious amount of fake news and lies about the EU.

Manfred Weber, Member of the European Parliament, and of the same group that Fidesz belongs to in the EP took his support to Twitter, congratulating Orbán and Fidesz on their clear win. He also said that he is looking forward to working together with them and coming up with solutions on how to tackle Europe’s most serious problems.

featured image: MTI


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