Author: Not mentioned

Posted on: | April 2nd, 2018


In-depth coverage of Viktor Orbán’s unexpectedly tough battle for another term.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, champion of illiberal democracy and migration hard-liner, was widely expected to cruise to a fourth term next Sunday but has faced a surprisingly tense and bruising campaign.

Spying allegations, fake news, leaks, counterleaks and corruption scandals have all featured in the lead-up to the April 8 general election. Never far away from the government’s attacks on their opponents have been efforts to pin blame on Hungarian-American financier George Soros, Orbán’s liberal nemesis.

While Orbán’s Fidesz party designed the electoral system and controls much of the media, the intensity of the campaign has revealed how much the prime minister fears losing.

Many of Orbán’s critics don’t actually believe he can be beaten, but setbacks in his campaign have raised opposition supporters’ hopes that they can, at the very least, weaken his position if they vote strategically for the strongest anti-Fidesz candidate in their district.

For Fidesz, defeat is not an option: a series of scandals means that if they lose power, Orbán’s allies and perhaps even the prime minister himself will face the threat of long jail terms.

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