The official results of the Hungarian general election on Sunday showed that the Fidesz party of nationalist Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had won a fourth term in office by a much greater margin than in pre-election elections, following a campaign of the war in neighbouring Ukraine was monitored.
Addressing an enthusiastic crowd chanting his name, many of them wearing Fidez’s orange party colours, Orbán said: “We have achieved a great victory – a victory so great that you can see it from the moon.” And, of course, one can see from Brussels.”
Orban’s administration has presided over repeated confrontations with the European Union, including sterilization of the press and judiciary, and measures targeting the LGBTQ community – also the subject of a vote on Sunday.
The 58-year-old, already the longest-serving head of government in the EU, was challenged by six united opposition parties seeking to roll back the “illiberal” revolution Orban’s Fidesz party has pursued during 12 consecutive years in office.
But with 94 percent of votes counted, Fidesz was on 53 percent compared to 35 percent for the opposition coalition, according to results from the national election office — a result which means the party will retain its two-thirds majority in parliament.
Peter Marki-Zay, 49, the conservative leading the opposition list, addressed supporters and conceded defeat late on Sunday evening.
“I will not hide my sadness and my disappointment,” he told them, combatively accusing Fidesz of running a campaign of “hate and lies”.
He added that the opposition had done “everything humanly possible” but that the campaign had been “an unequal fight” given the way in which he and other anti-Fidesz politicians had been all but banished from state media.
MEP Marton Gyongyosi from the right-wing Jobbik party which is part of the opposition coalition, that “abuses” had taken place on Sunday and added: “This will have to be considered when talking about how the results of the elections can be respected”.
Orban has dismissed such complaints and insisted the vote was fair.
For the first time more than 200 international observers monitored the election in Hungary, an EU member, along with thousands of domestic volunteers from both camps.