Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine dominated the election campaign, which examined Orban’s long ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In his victory speech, Orban called on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky as one of the “opponents” he must defeat during the campaign.
Hungary relies heavily on Russian power and Orban avoids the possibility of condemning Putin’s attack on its neighbor, complicating the EU’s efforts to present a united front against him.
But despite polls predicting fierce competition, Orban’s Fidesz party won a comfortable majority across the country. Opposition leader Peter Margi-J did not win even in his home district.
“We have such success, we can see it from the moon, but we can see it from Brussels,” Orban said in his speech on Sunday night, highlighting his government’s long-standing tensions with EU leaders.
“We will remember this victory until the end of our lives because we had to fight against many enemies,” Orban said, citing several of his political opponents, including the Hungarian left, and the “officials” in Brussels, the international media, and the Ukrainian president at the same time. We do not have so many enemies. “
A thorny relationship with the EU
Urban has gained close control over Hungary’s judiciary, media and educational institutions during his 12-year rule, which is now being extended until 2026. He proposed legislation aimed at immigrants and the LGBTQ + community, and he spoke about his purpose. Create a “liberal” state within the EU.
Critics have long complained that he has slashed the political arena against his opponents. Last month, Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE) recommended a full – scale international monitoring operation for the April 3 referendum – a rare measure for an EU state – after evaluating claims of a “general deterioration of conditions.” For a democratic election. “
“The whole world could see the success of Christian democratic politics, conservative politics and nationalist politics in Budapest this evening,” Orban said Sunday night. “Our message to Europe is that this is not the past, but the future. This will be our common European future.”
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Orban has campaigned primarily on a platform to keep Hungary’s troops and weapons out of the conflict. He has supported most of the EU’s sanctions against Russia since its occupation of Ukraine, but has opposed going further and projecting himself as a peacemaker for the electorate.
On Wednesday, his foreign minister accused the Ukrainian government of collaborating with Hungary’s opposition.
His position was criticized by the opposition. “Putin is rebuilding the Soviet empire, and Orban is watching it strategically,” opposition leader Margi-J told a rally in March, Reuters reported.
But Marki-Zay conceded defeat late on Sunday, telling supporters: “We are not discussing the victory of Fidesz, but we are arguing that this election was democratic and equal.
“We will be in this country, we will shake hands with each other, we will not let go of each other. Whatever the outcome of the election, the hard times are coming. We know they will criticize us so it is more important than ever to hold each other’s hand.
A referendum was held on Sunday on Orban’s controversial law banning educational materials and programs for children that are considered to promote homosexuality and gender reassignment.
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