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Hungary’s Orban Declares Victory In Elections

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Hungary's PM Viktor Orbán

Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán. Photo: Európa Pont.

Viktor Orban, Hungary’s right-wing, antimigrant prime minister, has declared a “historic” victory for his ruling Fidesz party in national elections that handed him his third consecutive term atop the country’s government.

“We have won,” Orban told cheering supporters late on April 8 after preliminary results were released. “Hungary has won a great victory.”

“Dear friends, there’s a big battle behind us, we secured a historic victory — we got a chance, we created a chance for us to defend Hungary,” he added.

With 98.5 percent of the ballots counted, Fidesz had taken 48.8 percent of the vote, far ahead of the radical nationalist Jobbik party, which had 20 percent.

Under Hungary’s electoral system, which favors the larger parties, Fidesz and its small ally, the Christian Democrats, appear to be closing in on a two-thirds majority in parliament with 133 of the 199 seats up for election.

Winning a two-thirds majority in parliament would be important to Orban and Fidesz, as it would allow them widespread powers.

Opposition parties expressed concerns that such an outcome would allow the autocratic Orban to push through constitutional changes, continue a crackdown on civic groups, and further strengthen his influence over the state power structure.

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Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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