Viktor Orbán has won the election in Hungary, securing himself another yet another term in office.
Orbán led his party, Fidesz, to victory in Hungary’s general election, extending the party’s winning streak to its fourth consecutive election victory. The party secured around 53% of the votes in an election with a 68.7% turnout.
Fidesz’s closest rival, a coalition composed of the 6 main opposition parties known as United for Hungary, won around 35% of the vote.
Fidesz has greatly outperformed the opposition parties, from an electoral standpoint, for the past 12 years, winning a super-majority numerous times and allowing them to make large changes to the Hungarian constitution.
Opposition parties and some observers have criticised the ruling party for alleged gerrymandering to make its re-election easier. Analysts for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe estimate that an opposition party would need to win at least 5% more of the popular vote than Fidesz to stand a chance of winning a parliamentary majority.
There were also concerns raised regarding possible voter fraud, with alleged cases of bribery being reported, along with a claim that a large collection of opposition party ballots had been found in a Romanian landfill.
Leader of the United for Hungary Coalition, Péter Márki-Zay, said:
“We knew beforehand that this was going to be an imbalanced fight. Yes, they’ve cheated too. But we’ve also said that since there is no democracy in Hungary and they’ve changed the whole system, the districts.”
Fidesz and Orbán occupy a far-right position, with Orbán describing the party’s position as that of “Christian illiberal democracy”. The party’s policies are openly anti-LGBTQ with Orbán held a referendum, coinciding with the election, asking various questions to gauge the public’s stance regarding education on LGBTQ topics. The referendum did not receive enough votes to make it legally binding, but the majority of votes that were cast were opposed to LGBTQ education, which Orbán will likely herald as a victory and vindication for his reactionary policies. Spokespeople for the EU have criticised the bill for breaching article 21 of the EU declaration of human rights.
Orbán has also been heavily criticised recently in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Orbán’s Hungary has enjoyed good relations with Putin’s Russia for some time. Although Orbán has condemned the Russian invasion, signed up to Western sanctions, and taken in around half a million Ukrainian refugees, his administration has received criticism for not giving weapons to Ukraine or allowing military aid for Ukraine to pass through Hungarian territory.
Orbán has also refused to cut down on Hungarian dependence on Russian oil and gas, saying that doing so would devastate Hungary’s economy. Around 90% of Hungary’s gas and 65% of its oil come from Russia.
Ukrainian President Zelensky has previously criticised Orbán for not condemning the invasion to Putin in-person, and has branded Orbán as Putin’s sole European supporter.
Orbán hit back at Zelensky in his victory speech, along with various ever present boogeymen that form the backbone of his party’s rhetoric.
“This victory is one to remember, maybe even for the rest of our lives, because we had the biggest [number of enemies to] overpower. The left at home, the international left, the bureaucrats in Brussels, the money of the Soros empire, the international media and even the Ukrainian president in the end.”
“The entire world can see that our brand of Christian democratic, conservative, patriotic politics has won.”
“We are sending Europe a message that this is not the past – this is the future.”