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Orbán’s Hungary is not the future of Europe: it represents a dying past

 

On Sunday Hungarians went to the polls to elect a new parliament. At stake was the fate of the prime minister, Viktor Orbán, whom international media love to describe in dramatic, but ultimately euphemistic, terms such as “Europe’s bad boy” or “Europe’s flame thrower”.

Based on the near-final results, Orbán’s Fidesz-KDNP “coalition” won a staggering 48.9% of the vote, up by 4%, and a new constitutional majority of 134 seats.

They were followed, at a considerable distance, by the Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik), the notorious far-right party that had campaigned on a relatively moderate anti-Fidesz-corruption platform, with 19.3% and 25 seats – a loss of almost 1%, but a gain of two seats. The centrist coalition vote was split over three parties this time.

The Hungarian Socialist party–Dialogue for Hungary (MSZP) coalition got 12.25% and 20 seats, whereas the Democratic Coalition (DK) got 5.54% and nine seats. In 2014, the two had contested together under the misnomer “Unity” and had achieved almost 8% and nine seats more. The nominally Green “Politics Can Be Different” (LMP), finally, got 6.9% of the vote and eight seats, a gain of 1.6% and three seats.

Orbán has been in power for eight straight years, during which he first transformed Hungary from a troubled liberal democracy into an illiberal kleptocracy, before taking on the European status quo, and in particular German chancellor Angela Merkel, on a broad variety of issues, but most notably immigration policies.  Read More

 

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