Viktor Orban wins 3rd term

Apr 07 2014, 14:25 IST
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SummaryHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party won parliamentary elections Sunday and narrowly secured a new two-thirds majority

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party won parliamentary elections Sunday and narrowly secured a new two-thirds majority, but gains by a far-right party were a cause for concern.

With over 95 percent of the votes counted, the National Election Office said Fidesz had won 134 seats in the 199-seat legislature. Fidesz, a right-wing populist party, and its small ally, the Christian Democrats, received 44.5 percent of the list votes, good for 37 seats, and also won 97 of the 106 individual constituencies.

"Every doubt and uncertainty has dissipated. We have won,'' Orban told cheering supporters gathered near the Danube River after securing a third term. ``Hungary again is a place where it is worth living, working and starting a family. We have declared that we are not turning back.''

A coalition of left-wing groups was projected to have 37 seats, while the far-right Jobbik party will likely have 23 seats.

The green Politics Can Be Different party got 5.2 percent and five deputies in the legislature.

Jobbik received 20.7 percent of the list votes, four percentage points more than it received in 2010.

Despite the gains, Jobbik leader Gabor Vona said both he and his supporters were ``deeply disillusioned'' by the result.

"We outperformed pollsters' expectations, but we were not able to achieve the goal we set for ourselves'' of winning the elections, Vona said.

Jobbik's gains, however, were quickly denounced by Jewish leaders.

"The gains made by Jobbik, an unashamedly neo-Nazi political party, should serve as a wake-up call for the whole of Europe,'' European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor said in a statement. "This is truly a dark day for Hungary.''

Kantor said Jobbik's success gave other far-right parties across the continent "a strong tail wind going into next month's European Parliament elections.''

Orban, who has frequently butted heads with the European Union over numerous policy issues and his government's weakening of democratic checks and balances, said the election results proved that Hungary belonged in the bloc _ albeit with one important condition.

"Hungarians have confirmed that Hungary's place is in the European Union, but only if it has a strong national government,'' Orban said.

In the eyes of supporters, the renewed two-thirds majority validates Orban's unorthodox economic policies which have greatly expanded the role of the state to the detriment of private enterprise and increased uncertainty among investors. At the same time, the government has been able to rein in the budget deficit and state debt while lowering

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