Orban set to win fourth term in Hungary — Analysis
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s conservative Fidesz-KDNP party has emerged with a comfortable lead as polling closes in the country on Sunday. The party has 59.99% and 23.03% respectively of votes as of 9:00 PM local time.
Despite the six leading opposition parties uniting to try to knock out Orban’s government under its banner, United for Hungary has only 28.89% of the vote thus far, with right-wing nationalist party Our Home (Mi Hazánk) trailing in third at 6.58%.
Pollsters Medián had forecast a 49% win for Fidesz to 41% for United for Hungary, with Our Home expected to tie with joke party Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party (MKKP) for third place, with 4.5% of the vote. Budapest Business Journal has explained Fidesz’s lead may shrink as many urban districts around the capital have not yet reported their results, while all votes from the rural areas, home to Orban’s most enthusiastic supporters, are more likely to have been counted.
While United for Hungary attempted to smear Orban as a ‘Russian puppet’ in the days leading up to the vote, the Hungarian leader’s refusal to completely cut off relations with Moscow has been seen by supporters as pragmatic, given the European nation gets most of its energy from Russia and has no alternative sources available to meet all its fuel needs in the event of an embargo.
“This isn’t our war, we have to stay out of it,” the premier said during a campaign rally on Friday, shutting down critics by pointing out that Ukrainian President “Zelensky does not vote today” nor is Russian President Vladimir “Putin…running in the Hungarian elections.”
Sunday’s election saw 67.8% of eligible voters casting ballots as of 6:30pm local time, with polls open until 7pm. A little over a thousand observers registered for the election to observe the voting. No anomalies were reported from polling stations since they opened.
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Also under consideration in Sunday’s vote was a referendum on child protection issues, which Orban’s government hopes will result in a mandate to shield underage children from being taught about sexual orientation, shown sexually explicit media, or exposed to supportive portrayals of gender reassignment therapy. The United for Hungary opposition called on its supporters to attempt to invalidate the referendum by marking both “Yes” and “No” for the referendum’s questions.
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