Hungary’s authoritarian leader Viktor Orban declares election victory

Orban’s Fidesz party had a commanding lead with 71% of the votes counted, Hungary’s national elections board said on Sunday evening.

The election campaign was dominated by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which put Orban’s lengthy association with Russian President Vladimir Putin under scrutiny.

Hungary is heavily reliant on Russian energy and Orban has dodged opportunities to condemn Putin’s assault on its neighboring state, complicating the EU’s efforts to present a united front against him.

But despite opinion polls forecasting a tighter race, Orban’s Fidesz party won comfortably across much of the country. Opposition leader Peter Marki-Zay even failed to win in his own district, where he had served as mayor.

“We have such a victory it can be seen from the moon, but it’s sure that it can be seen from Brussels,” Orban said in a victory speech on Sunday night, making light of his government’s long-running tensions with EU leaders.

Orban has gained close control of Hungary’s judiciary, media and education institutions during his 12-year stint in power, which is now set to be extended until 2026. He has pushed legislation targeting migrants and the LGBTQ+ community, and has spoken of his intention to build an “illiberal” state within the EU.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: The Bloggers Briefing