Centre-right party wins two-thirds majority in Hungary


Budapest : The centre-right party Fidesz secured an unprecedented two-thirds majority in Hungary’s Parliament through second-round voting Sunday, according to preliminary data from the National Election Office.

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Fidesz leader Viktor Orban addressed a jubilant crowd, which filled a large square in the centre of the capital Budapest chanting “Viktor, Viktor!”

“We have been able to bring about a great change through democratic means that previously we could only have done with a revolution,” Orban said.

With almost 98 percent of second-round votes counted, Fidesz was set to fill 263 of 386 seats in the Hungarian Parliament.

Holding more than two-thirds of seats in Parliament will give the centre-right party the power to implement deep structural changes that normally require a cross-party consensus, such as altering the parliamentary and electoral system.

In his address to supporters, Orban repeatedly spoke of building a “new system” in Hungary, an allusion to the fall of communism and switch to democracy in 1989, which Hungarians call the “change of system”.

The prime minister-elect told his supporters that Fidesz will “rebuild” a country that had been “ruined” by “oligarchs abusing their power.”

The Socialists, after eight years in government, face relegation to the opposition benches with just 59 representatives.

Socialist Party chairwoman Ildiko Lendvai announced her resignation within minutes after the scale of her party’s defeat became clear.

Lendvai congratulated Fidesz on its victory while warning that the next government could do much – “both good and bad” – with its huge mandate.

Increasing the magnitude of Hungary’s massive swing to the right, the nationalist party Jobbik was on its way into Parliament for the first time with a 47-member caucus, making it the country’s third-largest political force.

The controversial far-right party is known for its affiliated paramilitary group, the Hungarian Guard, which has remained a presence at party rallies despite having been outlawed by the courts.

Both the Socialists and the nationalists had campaigned vigorously for two weeks, urging voters to deny Fidesz a parliamentary supermajority and, as they put it, deny Orban a “dictatorial” level of power.

Fidesz had already secured an outright majority after first-round voting two weeks earlier.

The only other party to make it into Hungary’s next Parliament was the newcomer green-liberal party LMP, whose name means “Politics Can Be Different,” which won 16 seats.

The state news agency MTI, citing analysts, said the new Parliament could convene in two weeks, and the new centre-right government could be in place as early as May 20.