Published: Mon, April 09, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Hungary election: Viktor Orban's Fidesz party hopes for third straight term

Hungary election: Viktor Orban's Fidesz party hopes for third straight term

All 199 seats in the Hungarian parliament are up for grabs, with the opposition keen to make sure Mr Orban's bloc does not win a super-majority which would allow the autocratic leader to push through further constitutional changes.

The government has been accused by of using anti-Semitic stereotypes in its relentless campaign against Soros, who is Jewish.

Election officials said voter turnout was 68.1 percent by 6:30 p.m. (16:30 GMT), 30 minutes before the official end of voting. His critics said his stance has fueled xenophobia. While some parties have agreed to withdraw candidates to avoid knocking each other out in key, winner-take-all battleground districts, the array of Fidesz opponents, which include a former far-right outfit, socialists and greens, are mostly fighting their own corners.

"After Bavaria, Italy, the Czech and Austria have made it clear they are against immigration, now it is Hungary's turn", Orban told website Origo in an interview published on Sunday.

Winning another two-thirds majority would give Orban the chance to boost a new class of politically-connected oligarchs, tighten his grip on institutions such as the courts, and strengthen resistance against countries like France and Germany that are seeking to deepen European Union integration.

The prime minister's campaign has been centered around anti-immigration policies.

According to the National Election Office, more than 3.3 million voters had taken part by 1pm, with a turnout rate of 42.3%. It has been campaigning on an anti-corruption agenda and urged higher wages to lure back hundreds of thousands of Hungarians who have left Hungary for western Europe.

Growing profile of Kim Jong Un's wife shows more 'normal' nation
Members of the K-pop group, meanwhile, were pretty relieved by the North Korean audience and Kim's reception to their performance. The concert highlights the thawing ties between the rivals after years of friction over the North's nuclear program.

Long lines of voters waited to cast ballots at some Budapest polling stations. That was the highest turnout figure at that time since at least 1998.

But a recent mayoral by-election saw Fidesz suffer a shock defeat after the opposition united behind a single independent candidate, sparking a surge in turnout.

According to Orban and his ministers, Hungary will descend into chaos should it become an "immigrant country" like France or Belgium.

The leader of Hungary's right-wing nationalist Jobbik party says he expects a "surprise" result in the parliamentary elections. 'This is when all those who want a change of government. ask all those who have yet to vote to by all means go and vote'.

He had always voted for Fidesz and praised Orban's policy to support families. Fidesz should clearly win the party race, which allocates 93 seats, but there are many uncertainties about its performance in the 106 individual districts.

Around 7.9 million Hungarians are eligible to vote until polls close at 7pm (1700 GMT) local time.

Like this: