News You Really Need To See: “Hungary Re-Elects Maverick PM, Far-Right Opposition Gains”

“Hungary Re-Elects Maverick PM, Far-Right Opposition Gains”

Reuters, April 6, 2014

“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. … 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.  That tally also gave Orban’s party the two-thirds majority needed for it to change the constitution, but only by one seat, and final results could still push Fidesz back below the threshold.  The same projection gave the Socialist-led leftist alliance 38 seats, while Jobbik was on 23 seats. … Jobbik’s performance is being watched closely for clues about how other nationalist right-wing parties, such as France’s Front National and the Netherlands’ Party for Freedom, will perform in European Parliament elections next month.  In terms of its share of the national vote on party lists, Jobbik won 20.7 percent, up from 15.86 percent of all votes four years ago. … Its showing based on the incomplete results on Sunday was the strongest of any far-right party in the EU in the past few years…While [Jobbik] denies being racist, it provides a lightning rod for suspicion among some Hungarians towards the Roma and Jews.”

Quickie analysis:  Two winners here: Viktor Orban and the far right.  Could have broader implications than Hungary.

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