Around one lakh Hungarians took to the streets of Budapest on Saturday to protest against an allegedly unfair electoral system after Prime Minister Viktor Orban was re-elected, reported the BBC. The rally came six days after the Fidesz party won two-thirds of the Parliamentary seats with less than 50% vote share. This is Orban’s third consecutive term in office.
The protestors have demanded that the ballots be recounted. They also want a new election law and unbiased media reportage. “Fidesz’s election system and the government’s hate campaign have pushed the majority into a one-third [Parliamentary] minority,” the rally’s organisers said, according to Reuters.
The demonstrators marched towards the Parliament chanting “we are the majority”. The rally, organised through a Facebook group called ‘We are the majority’, went off peacefully. They will march again next weekend.
Orban’s election campaign was dominated by promises to defend Hungary’s borders and block immigration by Muslims. Orban is Eurosceptic, opposing integration with the European Union.
Orban’s victory 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”.