2018-04-09 11:11:52 UTC
BUDAPEST, Hungary (Reuters) - Prime Minister Viktor Orban won a third
straight term in power in Sunday elections after his anti-immigration
campaign message secured a strong majority for his party in parliament,
granting him two-thirds of seats based on preliminary results.
The rightwing nationalist prime minister projected himself as a savior of
Hungary's Christian culture against Muslim migration into Europe, an image
which resonated with millions of voters, especially in rural areas.
"We have won, Hungary has won a great victory," a jubilant Orban told a
large crowd of cheering supporters near the Danube river in Budapest.
"There is a big battle behind us, we have won a crucial victory, giving
ourself a chance to defend Hungary."
According to preliminary results with 93 percent of votes counted, National
Election Office data projected Fidesz to win 133 seats, a tight two-thirds
majority in the 199-seat parliament. Nationalist Jobbik was projected to win
26 seats, while the Socialists were projected as third with 20 lawmakers.
Two smaller leftist parties, DK and LMP, won nine and eight seats
That means Orban could have a two-thirds majority for a third time, and
powers to change constitutional laws. The EU has struggled to respond as
Orban's government has, in the view of its critics, used its two landslide
victories in 2010 and 2014 to erode democratic checks and balances.