Hungary PM Orbán hails EU election victory as pro-peace, anti-migration mandate

“We beat the old opposition and now we’ve beaten the new opposition,” Viktor Orbán told supporters

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on election night. (Facebook)
By Dénes Albert
4 Min Read

Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party will send the most MEPs to the European Parliament just as before, while it also maintained its significant lead in municipalities and regional assemblies, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said.

“On Sunday, the pro-peace policy was confirmed,” Orbán told the press as he promised to redouble his efforts in calling for immediate peace negotiations in Ukraine.

He said voters called on the European Union to “stop war, stop gender, stop migration, and stop Soros.”

“Providence has a sense of humor because it wrote (opposition centrist party) Momentum out of Hungarian history in the year of the Paris Olympics,” he said, referring to the liberal party’s explosion into public life with the “NOlimpia” (“No Olympics”) campaign. The Momentum party came to prominence in 2017 when it launched a referendum initiative against the government’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, which eventually forced the government to abandon its bid.

Momentum had two MEPs, but this time around failed to make it into the European Parliament.

On balance, traditional opposition parties — both left and right — lost 6 of their 8 MEP seats out of a total of 21 allocated to Hungary. The ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat coalition also lost two seats, but remained the largest single group with 11 MEPs.

The biggest single winner was Péter Magyar, estranged husband of former Justice Minister Judit Varga, who came to prominence this March after his wife resigned her lead candidacy in the wake of a clemency scandal, which also saw the resignation of President Katalin Novák.

Magyar subsequently gained a high media profile, which he used to effectively coopt a fringe centrist party, Respect and Liberty, (Tisztelet és Szabadság or TISZA).

Magyar ran with a loosely defined centrist-conservative agenda based on opposing the current government and went from zero to seven MEPs, becoming the largest opposition party in the country.

The race for the bitterly contested Budapest mayoral position brought the victory of incumbent liberal mayor Gergely Karácsony, but only by the slimmest of margins, 0.04 percent or 324 votes out of a total 781,547 votes. This prompted his opponent, Dávid Vitézy to say he will ask for a recount. However, he can only do so if he files complaints with specific irregularities in concrete constituencies and backs that up with proof.

On election night, Orbán said that his party’s double victory reinforced his government’s determination to stay its course.

“The Hungarian people, he stressed, have made it clear that those who work against their country in Brussels will be punished. They all voted them out,” Orbán said. “Today we have defeated the old opposition, we have defeated the new opposition, and no matter what they call the ‘Soros’ opposition, we will defeat it,” he added.

SOURCES:Magyar Nemzet
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