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hungary elections 2018

Viktor Orban, the Hungarian right-wing prime minister, has claimed a landslide victory in the country’s general election on April 8.

He will serve a third consecutive term in office, with his party FIDESZ projected to keep its key two-thirds majority in parliament.

According to Hungary’s National Election Office, FIDESZ won almost half of the vote, with 93% of ballots counted.

Viktor Orban, 54, is a strong Eurosceptic who campaigned on an anti-immigration platform.

Image source Wikimedia

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In a speech to supporters on the night of election, Viktor Orban said his victory gave Hungarians “the opportunity to defend themselves and to defend Hungary”.

Leaders of the second and third-placed parties have resigned in light of the result.

Polling stations were meant to close at 19:00 local time, but some stayed open hours later due to long queues. Voter turnout reached a near-record 69% – an outcome some believed would favor Viktor Orban’s opponents.

However, with almost all votes counted, the nationalist Jobbik party is in second place with 20% of the vote. The Socialists are in third with 12%, and the LMP, Hungary’s main Green Party, is in fourth with 7%.

Jobbik’s chairman Gabor Vona resigned on the night of election, telling a news conference: “Jobbik’s goal, to win the elections and force a change in government, was not achieved. FIDESZ won. It won again.”

Socialist Party President Gyula Molnar also resigned, saying: “We regard ourselves as responsible for what happened [and] we have acknowledged the decision of voters.”