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 leftist opposition claims the election is about whether Hungary wants to improve its relationship with the EU, restore the damaged system of checks and balances, and put an end to a regime that hands lucrative state contracts mostly to companies close to the governing party.
Mr. Orban’s Fidesz party won the 2010 election in a landslide, capturing the absolute majority of two thirds in parliament, which allowed it to adopt a new constitution, change the leadership of the central bank, and impose special taxes on mostly foreign-owned sectors of the economy.
Full Article: Hungary Sets Parliamentary Election Date – WSJ.com.