Tens of thousands of Hungarians demonstrated in Budapest Saturday against the re-elected Fidesz-KDNP coalition led by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Opponents of the government flooded from the Opera House to Parliament to protest at what they say is an unfair electoral system, according to media reports. Orbán won a third straight term in power in elections on April 8 on the back of a strongly anti-immigrant campaign. The incumbent coalition has regained a two-thirds supermajority in the National Assembly, with final results showing that Fidesz and its ally the Christian Democratic Peopleʼs Party (KDNP) won 133 seats in the 199-seat legislature. Opposition protesters complained that Hungary’s electoral rules – a hybrid of first-past-the-post voting and proportional representation – have given the governing coalition such a large majority in Parliament despite it winning only around 49% of the popular vote.
Organizers of the anti-government protests have demanded a recount of all ballots, a new election law, a non-partisan public media, and better-organized co-operation among parties opposed to the Fidesz government.
The march was organized through a Facebook group called “We are the majority.” Following the large turn-out for Saturdayʼs rally, which the BBCʼs correspondent Nick Thorpe estimated at “around 100,000 people,” the organizers have called for a further demonstration next weekend.
The protest was among the biggest in Hungary in recent years, similar in size to a mass rally prompted by Orbán’s plan to tax internet use four years ago and a pro-government demonstration called by Orbán supporters shortly before the election.