Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party was the clear winner in Sunday’s nationwide municipal elections, with its candidates winning the mayor’s post in Budapest, the capital, and in 20 of Hungary’s 23 largest cities. Speaking to supporters after preliminary results were announced, Orban vowed to “make Hungary great” in the upcoming years and boasted of winning elections for the third time this year, after victories in the national elections and for the European Parliament. The far-right Jobbik, trying to distance itself from earlier anti-Roma and racist statements, finished mostly far behind Fidesz but ahead of the left-wing opposition in most rural areas. Jobbik won in nine smaller cities, up from three in 2010.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Hungary.
Hungary: The 2014 Hungarian parliamentary elections, or how to craft a constitutional majority | Washington Post
Last weekend’s parliamentary elections in Hungary should have been a major event, at least within the European Union and the United States. Over the past four years the E.U. and the United States have criticized the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for its authoritarian, conservative and nationalist tendencies. These were institutionalized in the new constitution, which the government rammed through the toothless Hungarian parliament, in which the national-conservative Fidesz-KDNP party coalition held a constitutional majority. Scores of domestic and foreign observers have highlighted the many problematic parts of the constitution, although very little has been changed as a consequence of these critiques. But these are not ordinary times. The United States is preoccupied with the situation in Ukraine, while the E.U. is crippled by the lingering economic crisis and fears of an anti-European backlash in European elections next month. As a consequence, the Hungarian elections received little special attention from the E.U. and U.S. elite, despite widespread fears that another victory for Orbán, dubbed the “Viktator” by domestic critics, could lead to permanent damage to Hungary’s still-young liberal democracy.
Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party coasted to a clear victory in last weekend’s Hungarian election, as expected. The governing party got 45% of the vote, but the new “rules of the game” turned this plurality vote into two thirds of the seats in the parliament. A continuing two-thirds parliamentary majority allows Orbán to govern without constraint because he can change the constitution at will. But this constitution-making majority hangs by a thread. Orbán’s mandate to govern is clear because his party got more votes than any other single political bloc. What is not legitimate, however, is his two-thirds supermajority. Orbán was certainly not supported by two-thirds of Hungarians – nowhere close. In fact, a majority gave their votes to other parties. Orbán’s two-thirds victory was achieved through legal smoke and mirrors. Legal. But smoke and mirrors.
Hungarians handed their maverick Prime Minister Viktor Orban another four years in power, election results showed on Monday, while one in every five voters backed a far-right opposition party accused of anti-Semitism. Orban has clashed repeatedly with the European Union and foreign investors over his unorthodox policies, and after Sunday’s win, big businesses were bracing for another term of unpredictable and, for some of them, hostile measures. But many Hungarians see Orban, a 50-year-old former dissident against Communist rule, as a champion of national interests. They also like the fact that under his government personal income tax and household power bills have fallen. After 96 percent of the ballots were counted from Sunday’s parliamentary vote, an official projection gave Orban’s Fidesz party 133 of the 199 seats, guaranteeing that it will form the next government.
The Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) has asked for a written guarantee that the software which will aggregate the results of next weekend’s election is safe from any outside tampering. According to HVG, party MP Ferenc Baja put forward the request on Wednesday, when the National Elections Office (NVI) gave a closed-door briefing on the functioning of the software. NVI director Ilona Pálffy promised to present the results of an audited test of the system on Tuesday. The portal also noted that the NVI had planned to hold a public demonstration of the software the previous Friday, which apparently failed to take place. Members of the opposition have repeatedly voiced concerns in recent weeks about the software, pointing out that under previous Socialist-Liberal (MSZP-SZDSZ) governments the was in place and subject to public demonstrations 90 days before elections.
Hungarians residing permanently outside their country may help Viktor Orban score a higher win in this year’s parliamentary election after they were given the right to vote. Mr. Orban is headed for a second consecutive term in power. His Fidesz party won the 2010 election in a landslide. Its two-thirds majority in the country’s parliament has allowed it to push through at-times controversial legislation, including a change of electoral rules that allows Hungarian minorities in other countries to vote in national elections. Depending on the turnout in Hungary, their votes could be decisive, experts agree. So far, only those with a permanent residence in the country could vote at the elections, casting their votes at embassies. Legislation by the current government extended voting rights to those without a permanent address in Hungary.
Hungary will hold parliamentary elections April 6, when the country’s combative Prime Minister Viktor Orban expects to win a second consecutive term in power. The sooner Hungary’s new government is in power, the smoother the country may continue to draw on vital European Union funds, President Janos Ader said in a release, in which he listed the reasons for setting the poll for the earliest date possible under the election law. The election will pit Mr. Orban against Socialist party head Attila Mesterhazy, whose candidacy is pending the undoubted seal of approval from a Socialist party congress Jan. 25. According to Mr. Orban, the election is about whether voters want to preserve the government’s massive utility price cuts in the face of strong objections and lobbying in Brussels by large multinational companies. Mr. Orban would most likely regard an election victory as a validation of his heavy-handed nationalist policy, which caused strains in relations with the EU in his first four-year term.
The opposition Socialist Party has called on the government to request the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe to send observers to ensure the transparency of Hungary’s general and European Parliamentary elections next spring. Socialist lawmaker Tibor Szanyi said his party suspected that the ruling Fidesz party was “ready to perpetrate election fraud in all 11,000 constituencies nationwide”. Szanyi insisted that at least 1,000 OSCE observers would be needed, one for every 10 polling stations.
A landmark ruling by a United Nations body found that Hungary’s voting laws are disenfranchising people with disabilities, Human Rights Watch said today. The ruling applies to all 137 countries that have adopted the international disability rights treaty. These governments are required to review their laws and practices to eliminate any provisions that prevent people from voting due to their disabilities. The UN Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities, the panel of experts who interpret the international disability rights treaty, ruled that Hungary’s restriction on the right for people with intellectual disabilities to vote violates international human rights law. Under the recently amended Hungarian constitution, people under guardianship are automatically excluded from voting unless a judge determines they have the capacity to vote. The ruling said that any exclusion of the right to vote on the basis of “perceived or actual disability,” whether as a general rule or following an individual assessment, was discrimination in violation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Instead it said governments were under a duty to ensure all people with disabilities could exercise their right to vote, including in the way they design voting procedures and in providing assistance where necessary.
The three political parties in Hungary’s parliamentary opposition appear to be upset with the ruling Fidesz Party’s choice of candidate for the country’s next president. According to party statements on Tuesday, the opposition is considering boycotting the May 2 president elections to protest Fidesz stalwart Janos Ader’s candidacy. However, a boycott would be little more than symbolic since Ader is likely to be voted by a two-thirds majority in parliament. ”