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Hungary: Fidesz widely dominates municipal voting | Associated Press

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.

Full Article: Hungary's Fidesz widely dominates municipal voting - Fairfield Citizen.

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.

Full Article: The 2014 Hungarian parliamentary elections, or how to craft a constitutional majority.

Hungary: Legal But Not Fair | New York Times

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.

Full Article: Legal But Not Fair (Hungary) - NYTimes.com - NYTimes.com.

Hungary: Maverick PM re-elected, far-right opposition gains | Reuters

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.

Full Article: Hungary re-elects maverick PM, far-right opposition gains | Reuters.

Hungary: Parliamentary Election Date Set | Wall Street Journal

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.

Full Article: Hungary Sets Parliamentary Election Date - WSJ.com.

Hungary: Opposition May Boycott Presidential Election | CRI

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. “

Full Article: Hungarian Opposition May Boycott Presidential Election.

Hungary: House speaker promotes ethnic vote for individual candidates | Politics.hu

Ethnic Hungarians should vote on individual candidates rather then party lists in Hungary’s next general election, national daily Magyar Nemzet said on Friday, citing Parliamentary Speaker Laszlo Kover as saying.

“I would prefer Hungarian citizens living abroad to send individual deputies to Hungarian Parliament,” Kover said recently at a youth camp, organised for ethnic Hungarians in Szentendre near Budapest. The MPs delegated this way should be independent politicians, he added.

Full Article: House speaker promotes ethnic Hungarian vote for individual candidates | Politics.hu.

Hungary: Hungary Proposes Single-Round Election | Wall Street Journal

Over the weekend, Hungary’s governing party Fidesz proposed a mixed, single-round parliamentary election system instead of the current two-round one, immediately attracting huge public outcry.

The governing party, which has a sweeping majority in parliament, is in the process of revamping the country’s public sector. This spans from changes in the administration to cutting red tape to simplifying the election system. Part of the latter effort is a plan to eventually decrease the number of parliament members to 200 from the current 386.

Full Article: Hungary Proposes Single-Round Election - Emerging Europe Real Time - WSJ.

Hungary: Fidesz may cut number of lawmakers and introduce single-round elections | bbj.hu

Hungary’s governing party plans to cut the number of lawmakers from 386 to 200, abolish the second round of voting and end the system of compensating for votes cast for runner-up candidates.

Fidesz proposes introducing a single-round election system featuring both individual candidates and party lists, MEP János Áder said on Saturday. Áder, whom Fidesz asked to coordinate the drafting of the new election law to be approved this year, told reporters about plans to field half the number of lawmakers from individual constituencies and the other half from national party lists.

Full Article: Fidesz may cut number of lawmakers and introduce single-round elections | The Budapest Business Journal on the web | bbj.hu.