Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Orban set for third term as PM

Hungarian politicians today elected Viktor Orban to his third term as prime minister, a month after his Fidesz party won its second consecutive two-thirds majority in the legislature.

Mr Orban was supported by 130 deputies from Fidesz and its small ally, the Christian Democrats, while 57 representatives from the opposition parties voted against him.

Speaking in the legislature after the swearing-in ceremony, the 50-year-old prime minister said his re-election would allow him to continue with the policies of the past four years.

"After such difficult years, when we totally renewed and reorganised Hungary, voters still entrusted us to carry on with our work," Mr Orban said.

According to voters, "it is better for the country to continue in the current, determined, unfaltering direction, than to reopen the age of sterile arguments," Mr Orban said, noting that Hungarians felt that the inability of politicians to agree on key issues had stilted progress.

"Despite freedom, democracy, a market economy and the sure signs of development, the public feeling is that we are standing in place."

"It is time to work," Mr Orban said. "We have to continue the age of deeds and actions."

The Orban government has attained significant economic achievements - lower inflation and unemployment and budding signs of growth - but many of the gains have been the result of unsustainable practices.

Labour data has been lifted by large public works programs and the inclusion of some of the Hungarians working abroad, while inflation has fallen in great part thanks to mandatory cuts in energy prices for households.

The country's accounts have also profited from the nationalisation of 14 billion US dollars in assets administered by private pension funds and heavy taxes on banks, retailers, telecommunications companies. At 27%, Hungary also has the highest value-added tax in the European Union.

Critics have also attacked Mr Orban's concentration of power and the weakening of democratic norms.

Later, Mr Orban spoke to a large crowd of supporters outside parliament, urging them to vote for Fidesz in the upcoming European parliamentary elections.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?


From Belfast Telegraph