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budapest protests

Around 100,000 of Hungarians have protested in the capital Budapest against the re-elected right-wing government of PM Viktor Orban.

Viktor Orban’s opponents flooded Budapest on April 14 to protest at what they say is an unfair electoral system.

A similar number of people attended a pro-Orban demonstration last month.

The protests come just six days after the governing FIDESZ party won two-thirds of the parliamentary seats with half of the national vote.

Viktor Orban is a strong Eurosceptic who campaigned on an anti-immigration platform.

The march was organized through a Facebook group called “We are the majority”. Following the large turn-out for the rally, the organizers have called for a further demonstration next weekend.

Image source Wikimedia

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A large number of police were deployed in Budapest, including riot officers, however the demonstration remained peaceful.

Speakers who participated in the event denounced what they called Viktor Orban’s theft of the election, and the corruption and abuse of power they say characterizes his rule.

Asked about the prospect of forthcoming demonstrations, Viktor Orban simply replied: “We won, that’s it.”

The protests’ organizers 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.

Many of those who marched the streets to the Hungarian parliament were young people.

Many parties and movements opposed to Viktor Orban’s government, including the right-wing nationalist Jobbik, participated in the demonstration.


Thousands of people have protested in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, ahead of talks between PM Viktor Orban and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Today’s visit is Vladimir Putin’s first to an EU leader since June 2014.

Hungary wants to negotiate a new agreement for Russian gas supplies.

Russia has been largely shunned by EU member states because of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, although it denies accusations of fomenting the violence.

Protesters rallied in Budapest on Monday night carrying banners saying “Putin No! Europe Yes!”.Hungary protests Vladimir Putin visit

Much of the city centre was closed to traffic on February 17 as security was stepped up ahead of the visit.

Vladimir Putin’s trip comes less than two weeks after German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Budapest before embarking on a week of intense diplomacy, which resulted in the announcement of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

He is keen to demonstrate that he has allies within the EU and NATO, observers say.

During his visit, Vladimir Putin is due to visit the graves of Soviet soldiers.

Hungary has backed EU sanctions imposed on Russia over the situation in Ukraine, but has been vocal about their negative impact.

In 2014, Viktor Orban said the EU had “shot itself in the foot” by restricting trade with Moscow.

Hungary relies on Russia for more than half of its gas supplies and wants to negotiate a flexible long-term deal to succeed the current agreement which expires later this year.

Viktor Orban, who rose to prominence with a strong anti-communist and anti-Russian stance as a student leader, told Hungarian radio on Friday that there were psychological tensions with Russia, but he wanted to overcome them.

He is considered to be among Vladimir Putin’s closest allies in Europe.

Many of the demonstrators who marched through Budapest on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s visit said they were wary of closer ties with Russia.

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