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Hungary’s Viktor Orban wins third straight term in power

Hungary’s Viktor Orban wins third straight term in power

BUDAPEST: Prime Minister Viktor Orban won a third straight term in power in Sunday elections after his anti-immigration campaign message secured a strong majority for his party in parliament, granting him two-thirds of seats based on preliminary results.

The right wing nationalist prime minister projected himself as a saviour of Hungary’s Christian culture against Muslim migration into Europe, an image which resonated with millions of voters, especially in rural areas.

“We have won, Hungary has won a great victory,” a jubilant Orban told a large crowd of cheering supporters near the Danube river in Budapest. According to preliminary results with 93 per cent of votes counted, National Election Office data projected Fidesz to win 133 seats, a tight two-thirds majority in the 199-seat parliament. Nationalist Jobbik was projected to win 26 seats, while the Socialists were projected as third with 20 lawmakers.

 That means Orban could have a two-thirds majority for a third time, and powers to change constitutional laws. The EU has struggled to respond as Orban’s government has, in the view of its critics, used its two landslide victories in 2010 and 2014 to erode democratic checks and balances.