Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Turnout high in Hungary's election as Orban fights to retain power

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban attends the last campaign event of his Fidesz party in the town of Szekesfehervar Turnout high in Hungary's election as Orban fights to retain power
Lisa Bryan | 09 April, 2018, 01:03

An official from Hungary's governing Fidesz party says the exceptionally high voter turnout in the country's parliamentary election shows that "Hungarian democracy is strong". She said young people are rejecting the authoritarian government and her 2 daughters have left Hungary.

His anti-immigration measures and tough rhetoric have seen him clash with the European Union in the past.

All 199 seats in the Hungarian parliament are up for grabs, with the opposition keen to make sure Mr Orban's bloc does not win a super-majority which would allow the autocratic leader to push through further constitutional changes.

Gabor Vona is the opposition leader seeking to capture the protest vote against Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, an Euronews report has said.

A man in the capital, Budapest, said he hopes the ruling party will win.

They are vowing to restore the democratic system of checks and balances, expand press freedom, join the European Public Prosecutor's Office to enhance anti-corruption efforts and allocate more funds to education, health care and fighting poverty.

The election produced a turnout of around 70 percent, exceeding the past three elections.

Tamas Boros of the Policy Solutions think-tank says the high voter figures mean either "overwhelming support" for Prime Minister Viktor Orban's severe anti-migrant policies or the end of his populist, right-wing Fidesz party's omnipotence.


Voter turnout in the first hours of voting in Hungary's election is the highest since 1998.

Opposition parties have lacked close coordination on a national level, but tactical voting could nevertheless represent a danger to Fidesz in 30-40 "swing seats".

After casting his vote in a wealthy district of Budapest, he said he would stand up for Hungary's interests and said Hungary was a loyal member of worldwide organizations.

"From here I will go and take part in mobilizing voters".

If Orban wins again, he is expected to continue his economic policies, with income tax cuts and incentives to boost growth.

Orban, who voted with his wife at a Budapest school near their home, told a crowd of reporters that he will "respect the decision" of the Hungarian voters.

Meanwhile, Jobbik leader Gabor Vona cast his ballot in the northeastern town of Gyongyos, saying that the result would "determine the fate of Hungary not just for four years but. for two generations". He claims the European Union, the U.N., Hungarian-American financier George Soros and the civic groups he sponsors are all conspiring to force Hungary to take in thousands of mainly Muslim migrants to weaken its independence and its Christian identity and culture.

"We love our country and we are fighting for our country", he said. The EU is now in Berlin, in Budapest, in Warsaw, in Prague and at Bucharest.

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