Prime minister wins a second term in Hungary election
BUDAPEST, Hungary — Voters in Hungary have re-elected Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his conservative political alliance in parliamentary elections, according to preliminary election results released Monday.
The early vote count showed that Orban’s Fidesz party and a small conservative ally would keep a two-thirds majority, with 133 seats in the country’s 199-member Parliament.
A leftist alliance led by the socialist Attila Mesterhazy is expected to control 38 seats.
The vote, held Sunday, showed increasing support for the radical right Jobbik party, which won just more than 20 percent of the vote on national party lists, 4 percentage points higher than in 2010, and was expected to have 23 seats in Parliament.
With more than 98 percent of the votes counted, there was little room for change Monday, although final results were expected later in the week.
The vote came after a campaign dominated by the governing party, which touted its economic record. The leftist alliance struggled to gain support, and the Jobbik party tried to widen its camp by catering to more moderate voters.
Turnout was lower than in 2010, when voters gave Orban a supermajority in the country’s legislature, allowing his alliance to enact broad changes to Hungary’s political institutions.
Orban said voters had ratified his program in the face of critics both at home and abroad.
“We received a clear and unquestionable mandate to continue what we started,” Orban said Monday at a news conference.
But he offered no details on what the next government’s agenda would be.
“We want to give confidence to the government,” said Krisztina Kurti, 43, who works in human relations, cheering Sunday night as Fidesz’s results showed up on a large screen. “We want them to continue what they started,” she added.
Like many in the crowd of Fidesz supporters, Kurti dismissed critics of the government who said democratic values had been suppressed during the last four years. “We are not afraid. Only those who have something to worry about are afraid,” she said, referring to what she described as corrupt politicians in the opposition.
Mesterhazy, the Socialist Party candidate, acknowledged the result but contended that the elections were unfair. Repeating a charge he made often during the campaign, he said that the new electoral system gave an unfair advantage to the Fidesz party.