Hungarian election: Democracy’s twilight? Hate campaign pays off big-time and delivers Orbán a landslide victory

09 04 18

By Bernard Rorke in Budapest

Record numbers of voters turned out in the Hungarian elections yesterday to deliver Victor Orbán a landslide victory that decimated the left-liberal opposition and leaves the far right Jobbik as the second largest party in parliament.

Any hopes among that last-minute deals and tactical voting might prevent Fidesz from securing a two-thirds majority were quickly dashed as the results came in, turning the electoral map orange, and giving Fidesz 133 out of 199 seats in parliament.

This supermajority allows Fidesz to change the constitution at will, and gives Orbán a free hand to pursue his vision of an illiberal democracy, exact his promised “political, legal and moral vengeance” on his opponents, and finish what the prime minister described as the important task “to eject the Soros Empire from Hungary.”

In his victory speech, Orbán thanked dispora Hungarians who “helped to defend the motherland”; expressed his gratitude for the support received from Hungary’s Polish friends from the Law and Justice party; and all those Hungarians who “prayed for us and who prayed for me”, and given Fidesz “the opportunity to defend Hungary”.

Just days before the election, a report by the UN Human Rights Committee slammed the Orbán regime for its democratic backsliding, called on the Hungarian Government to stop with the “Stop-Soros Package” of laws; expressed its deep concern at hate speech against Roma, Muslims, refugees and migrants in government-sponsored campaigns; condemned the prevalence of anti-Semitic stereotypes in the conspiracy theories related to George Soros nurtured by high-ranking officials; and called for measures to eradicate school segregation of Roma.

It’s a safe bet that the UN concerns and recommendations just won’t see daylight inside Hungary. Flushed with victory, Fidesz will doubtless dismiss these criticisms as part of an elaborate international conspiracy, given that it ran a single issue anti-migrant election campaign targeting the EU, George Soros, and the UN for their alleged attempts to undermine the sovereignty and the ethnic homogeneity of the nation, by flooding the country with ‘illegals’.

It’s clear that the racist fear-mongering and non-stop anti-migrant propaganda paid big dividends in the small towns and countryside. It’s also clear that Fidesz voters were undaunted by the mounting financial scandals that have revealed the scale of state-organized crime. The only question that remains is whether this landslide election victory by an openly authoritarian, racist and corrupt regime marks the twilight of democracy in Hungary.




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