We vote in Hungary, Orban takes the risk

Parliamentary elections will be held in Hungary on Sunday, April 3, so the government led by Victor Orban will have to be renewed in a semi-official way. For the first time in many years, the opposition will unite and support a single prime minister. According to further polls, he has a good chance of playing with the Urban alliance.

It is not easy to understand how that will change. The month-long war in Ukraine has turned the election campaign upside down – whether political analysts are in the majority or in opposition, and who does not know who will benefit the most – Orban has been campaigning for some time. Coercion and lies. As in other periods of his political careerThis may affect the final result.

The number of elections in Hungary will be closely followed by various Western countries. “Orban’s acquisition coincided with the beginning of the era of dictatorial populism”, He wrote On Michael Goldberg New York Times: “His failure marks the beginning of the end”.

Victor Orban (AP Photo / Anna Chilaki)

Orban has been prime minister since 2010, but has practically always been in politics. As a young man he was a well-known anti-communist and pro-European activist, and because of those credentials and recognized charisma he was able to gradually climb the ranks of Fidesz, the country’s main center-right party. .

When he came to power, he approved a number of rules They limit the freedom of the pressHe was promoted Discriminatory positions Introduced laws against homosexual community and minority Muslims, Roma and Jews, and criminalizing the reception of immigrants. In the meantime, it is Guarantee To the inner circle of his friends and collaborators was the rich government deals and the centralization of the judiciary in the hands of Fidesz and his allies in the Popular Christian Democratic Party.

Over the years Orbán and Fidesz have completely monopolized the public debate, believing that the Hungarian electorate – already very traditionally, especially outside the big cities – has taken a direction opposite the values ​​of Western Europe and the EU. Conservative Christian tradition, and only Hungary will preserve them. “We have replaced the failed liberal democracy with modern Christian democracy”, Advertising Urban after winning the 2018 election.

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The opposition had long been looking for a prime ministerial candidate who could please even such voters, and was finally found by the economist and mayor of the small town of Hatmesovserheli, Peter Margi-Jay.

Marki-Zay, 49, is a Catholic who has seven children and openly declares himself a conservative: at the same time he believes that his religious beliefs should not be imposed on everyone and that Hungary should be brought closer to others. European countries are guaranteeing more independence for the courts and fighting corruption with more evidence, which became a problem that was deeply felt by the Hungarians during the Urban years. In ‘Code of perceived corruption Compiled annually by the voluntary organization Transparency International, Hungary has changed over the past decade The second country with the most data EU after Bulgaria.

Peter Margi-J (AP Photo / Laszlo Ballock)

The election campaign began when Russia invaded Ukraine, with foreign policy at the center of the debate.

Urban is one of the closest European leaders to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he has met a dozen times since becoming prime minister and is often publicly praised. Since the beginning of the war, Orban has been forced to maintain a very uncomfortable position, sharing with right-wing European politicians who have expressed public interest in Putin in recent years: he had to support the tough sanctions decided by the European Union. Russia, but at the same time did not openly condemn Putin for inciting war.

For weeks Márki-Zay tried to take advantage of this contradiction. Explains For example, the Hungarians must decide by their vote “which side to take with Orban and Putin or with the West or Europe, on the wrong side or on the right side of history.” Orbán, on the other hand, focuses more on making itself a safer choice in times of great uncertainty and uncertainty. “It took less than a week for Fitzgerald to launch a new campaign describing the organ as a pacifist and a security anchor.” he said To Defender Political analyst Luckner Solton.

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For now, Orban’s strategy seems to work: According to the survey compiler PoliticsOver the past month, the distance between the pro-Fidesz and pro-Márki-Zay opposition cartels has remained virtually unchanged: this time the alliance between Orbán’s party and the Popular Christian Democratic Party is about 50 percent unanimous. Estimated at 45 percent.

Márki-Zay’s goal is further complicated by the internal tensions between the opposition parties that support him, from Jabik’s right to the Social Democrats, and the fact that Orban has been abusing all means to stay in power for so long.

A few months ago, for example, Orbán He has decided The referendum will be held on the same day as the parliamentary elections Controversial law It was approved last year to ban the resolution of issues related to homosexuality in public contexts frequented by minors. Representatives of 14 EU member states, including Italy, opposed the law. They signed Joint document of condemnation by the European Commission on the grounds that it discriminates against homosexuals Had started An infringing procedure against the Hungarian government. Many observers believe that holding a referendum on the same day as the election is a ploy to mobilize the more conservative marginalized electorate.

Another tactic that Urban has been using in its election campaign for many years is to impose a supposed and immediate invasion on immigrants in order to assert a more traditional electorate. This is a theme that often occurs in the rhetoric of the organ, which is known for its statements. Lie And Hostile Towards Islam and the Muslim People.

Associated Press He wrote “As the April 3 elections approach, the current migration pressure is greater than in 2015 when hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers from war and poverty came to the EU,” Orbán said. In December, at a rare press conference, Orban told reporters there that Hungarian authorities had arrested “more than 100,000 people” by 2021. In fact, the figures were very low: there were 60,540 irregular entries across the so-called “Balkan Route” by 2021, according to data from the European Union’s border security agency Frontex, of which Hungary was the only one. Countries concerned.

Syrian group of asylum seekers crosses border between Serbia and Hungary in September 2015 (AP Photo / Muhammed Muheisen)

Orbán also uses his strict control over the national media to his advantage. For example, Márki-Zay said he has not received any invitations to speak on television since 2019, and that public television continues to broadcast Orban’s statements and speeches.

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“Our voice is low”, He agreed To Financial Times Peter Jarand, leader of the Marquee-Jane election campaign. This is not only a matter of space, but also of money. According to an unofficial estimateZarand says Fidesz has spent twice as much as it was allowed to fund its own election campaign, and that the united opposition has managed to buy about 2,000 election posters across the country, with Fidesz having about 20,000 election posters.

Fear of possible irregularities persists until polling and counting day. A few days ago the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) issued a stern statement (PDF) In which he lists doubts and doubts, for example, the impartiality of the executive and the efficient ability of the electoral machine to manage simultaneous elections and voting. Sarah Second time in historyThe OSCE, among others, will send a full team to one EU country to oversee the smooth running of the elections.

The 199 parliamentarians of the single-chamber Országgyűlés in the Hungarian parliament were elected by a mixed system: 106 are contesting in single-member constituencies, while 93 are nominated by proportional representation based on the votes received by individual parties. Because of this method, it is not easy to immediately understand who will win if there are no significant results: a clear idea will be available from Monday morning.

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