Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban swept the Sunday’s general election to win a third consecutive term in office, AFP reported.
Fidesz, 54-year-old Orban’s party, is projected to keep its key two-thirds majority in parliament, Hungary’s National Election Office said. The majority will give Orban the power to change the Constitution.
Orban told supporters on Sunday that his victory would give Hungarians “the opportunity to defend themselves and to defend Hungary”, BBC reported. At the end of his speech, Orban led the crowd to sing the country’s 1848 revolution song, “Long Live Hungarian Freedom”, according to AFP. Reports said the crowd cheered as a giant TV screen showed electoral maps of the country completely covered in Fidesz’s orange colour.
Orban’s campaign was dominated by promises of defending Hungary’s borders and blocking immigration by Muslims, according to the BBC. Orban is Eurosceptic, opposing integration with the European Union.
“Migration is like rust that slowly but surely would consume Hungary,” Orban had said at one of his rallies, according to BBC. He has also promised to cut taxes and push for pro-growth reforms.
Orban’s victory, however, is perceived by many in the West as a blow to democracy in Hungary. The New York Times, in a report about Orban’s victory, described his rule thus far as transforming Hungary “from a vibrant democracy into a semi-autocratic state under one political party’s control”. The Washington Post said the “resounding victory will probably permit Orban’s government to continue with democratic backsliding”.