World

Hungarian Anti-Immigration Prime Minister Viktor Orbán Wins Re-Election With A Landslide

REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

Amy Balog London-based writer and journalist

Conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has won his third consecutive term in Hungary’s general election on Sunday. Orbán’s Fidesz party secured a solid two-thirds majority once again and gained even more supporters over the last four years.

Orbán’s sweeping victory can mostly be attributed to his party’s anti-immigration and anti-globalist campaign. The government have opposed to taking in migrants in the wake of the 2016 refugee crisis, constructing a border fence and defying the pressure from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders. They have also cracked down on NGOs funded by Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros in recent years.

“Migration is like rust that slowly but surely would consume Hungary,” Orbán said in his final campaign speech. In addition to pledging to protect the country from the Islamization seen in western Europe, he also promised to lower income taxes and strengthen economic growth.

Supporters of Fidesz party react to the preliminary results of parliamentary election in Budapest, Hungary, April 8, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Supporters of Fidesz party react to the preliminary results of parliamentary election in Budapest, Hungary, April 8, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

This is going to be Orbán’s fourth term altogether as the country’s leader, having first governed from 1998 to 2002, before being elected again in 2010. By the end of his upcoming term, he will have been the longest-serving Prime Minister in Hungary’s history. By winning 134 in parliament out of the total 199, Fidesz and their smaller Christian democrat ally KDNP have the “supermajority” needed to pass legislation on their own, without needing any votes from the opposition.

“Our country has not yet reached where it wants to be, but it is on its chosen path. We will continue together on this path,” Orban said in his victory speech. He also rejected all accusations of authoritarianism, after being criticized by his opponents for undermining the freedom of the press, since most newspapers and television channels are now affiliated with the government.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses the supporters after the announcement of the partial results of parliamentary election in Budapest, Hungary, April 8, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses the supporters after the announcement of the partial results of parliamentary election in Budapest, Hungary, April 8, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

The election’s voter turnout approached 69 percent, nearly breaking the all-time record. Another right-wing party, Jobbik finished a distant second and the Socialist coalition third, prompting all opposition leaders to resign.