Viktor Orban elected as Hungary’s new PM

Ultra-Conservative and Nationalist Hungarian Leader Viktor Orban was re-elected as the country’s Prime Minister following official results from the country’s general election on Sunday.  

Viktor Orban 2023
(Budapeste – Hungria, 17/02/2023) Presidente da República Jair Bolsonaro cumprimenta o Primeiro-Ministro da Hungria, Viktor Mihály Orbán. Foto: Alan Santos/PR

This will be Orban’s fourth stint as the Prime Minister of Hungary, who is already the longest-serving head of government in the EU. His conservative Fidesz party won the election by an unexpectedly greater margin, leading to some opposition members alleging electoral fraud and rigging.  

Orban, however, dismissed such allegations as hopeless jargon of the opposition and insisted the vote was fair. 

Addressing a huge rally post his election victory, he said “We have won a great victory-a victory so great you can perhaps see it from the moon and certainly from Brussels,” in an apparent dig at the seat of the European Union. The jubilant crowd was heard shouting his name as he taunted European Union. 

“The whole world has seen tonight in Budapest that Christian democratic politics, conservative civic politics, and patriotic politics have won. We are telling Europe that this is not the past. This is the future. This will be our common European future”, he added. 

The ultra-nationalist leader often has had a confrontationist attitude toward Brussels’ liberal policies. 

European Union has often criticized his extreme policies concerning minorities, the LGBTQ community, judicial interference, and the gagging of the press.  

A broad coalition of 6 opposition parties unsuccessfully challenged Orban to unseat him from the helm of the country’s affairs. 

However, with the majority of votes already counted, the incumbent Fidesz party will retain its two-thirds majority in the parliament.  

The opposition nominee, Peter Marki-Zay, addressed his supporters late evening.  

While conceding his defeat, he said, “I will not hide my sadness and disappointment,” accusing Fidesz of running a “hate and lies campaign.” 

He told the disappointed crown that the opposition did everything that was “humanly possible” to remove Orban from power but lost due to the unfair means adopted by the ruling dispensation.  

The election results were a big victory for the right-wing conservative groups. Besides incumbent Prime Minister Victor Bran’s party retaining its two-thirds majority in the parliament, another far-right group Mi Hazank party, is also set to enter the Hungarian after crossing the five-percent minimum threshold. 

The Russian invasion of Ukraine also overshadowed the elections. PM Orban is considered a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, being part of the European Union, Hungary officially and diplomatically toed the European support for Kyiv despite Orban’s anti-Ukrainian undertones in political gatherings and election rallies. 

In his victory speech, Orban also accused the opposition of war morning. He even read out a long list of opponents. 

“We never had so many opponents, Brussels bureaucrats, the international mainstream media, and finally the Ukrainian president,” he said. 

Some of the international leaders who were the first to congratulate Orban included Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

In a tweet on Monday, the Indian Prime Minister said, “Congratulations, Prime Minister Viktor Orb谩n, on your victory in the Parliamentary elections in Hungary. Look forward to continue working with you to strengthen the close and friendly India-Hungary ties further.” 

Some conservative right-wing leaders of Europe also congratulated Orban on his stunning victory. 

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