Hungary's right-wing party leader is hopeful

04_06_two-tailed dog

04_06_two-tailed dog

Hungarians are deciding whether to give Prime Minister Viktor Orban another four-year term in parliamentary elections, where he's facing a resurgent opposition that's hoping to unseat the poster child of Europe's populist movement.

Voters will weigh Orban's popular anti-immigration stance and an economic upswing against an authoritarian tilt that's made him the black sheep of the European Union and a role model for anti-establishment parties from Italy to Poland.

His sometimes lurid rhetoric against immigrants resulted in February in a spat between the government and the UN's top human rights official, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, who accused Mr Orban of xenophobia and racism.

Orban has far-right admirers across Europe who like his tough line on migrants and his smooth victory shows that his single-issue campaign, arguing that migration poses a security threat, had paid off.

Orban and his wife Aniko Levai voted at a polling station in a school in a Budapest suburb.

Uncertainties about Orban's expected margin of victory are caused by Hungary's complex electoral system in which voters cast two ballots, one for an individual candidate in their region and another for a party list.

Asked whether he was fighting the EU he said: "The EU is not in Brussels. The EU is in Berlin, in Budapest, in Prague and in Bucharest".

After casting his vote in a wealthy district of Budapest, he said he would stand up for Hungary's interests and said Hungary was a loyal member of worldwide organizations.

Josh: Storms return Friday night, then colder
There is now a slight risk for severe weather covering Marengo county, and a marginal risk for most of our viewing area. We're tracking an area of low pressure that will move across the Palmetto State Saturday morning into the afternoon.

"We love our country and we are fighting for our country", Mr Orban said.

While Fidesz led all opinion polls before the vote, there is a small chance that the fragmented opposition could strip Fidesz of its parliament majority if voters frustrated with Orban's policies choose tactical voting in the 106 constituencies.

Polls agree on the eventual triumph of Orban's right-wing nationalist Fidesz party and its allied Christian Democrats in Sunday's national vote but opposition leaders were encouraged by a high early turnout. Vona said the question was not about migration but about the large number of Hungarians who were leaving the country and heading to Western Europe in search of higher wages and better prospects.

Clad in a green summer jacket and white shirt, Jobbik leader Gabor Vona, 39, arrived to vote in the eastern Hungarian city of Gyongyos, his home town and the district where he is likely to win a seat.

Some 8.3 million Hungarians are eligible to vote, with preliminary results expected Sunday night. "Emigration may or may not define Hungary, and I would prefer that it does not".

Voter turnout was estimated between 64 and 68%. That was the highest turnout figure for that hour since at least 1998.

Voter turnout in Hungary's parliamentary election reached 53.64 percent by 1300 GMT on Sunday, a higher interim tally than in 2002, when turnout in the second round of that election was 53.59 percent, National Election Office data showed.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.