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Home / World / Hungary election was free, but not completely fair, observers say

Hungary election was free, but not completely fair, observers say



While he held the government accountable for the way the campaign was conducted, including the possibility of not allowing civilian observers, O.S.C.E. found no problems with the election itself, where more than 8.3 million people were registered for election.

Asked about multiple reports of irregularities in the local news media, Mr. Wake said the mission of his group would be limited to looking at the technical issues related to counting votes and posting results

On the national ballot list, Fidesz has received more than 49 percent of the vote, with 2.6 million voting for the party and its Christian Democratic allies. That was about the same as the seven largest opposition parties together.

Fidesz also won convincingly in local elections, securing a two-thirds majority in parliament that leaves the party free to make even deeper legal and constitutional changes They have already given him firm control over courts and other state institutions.

It remains unclear what further action Mr Orban might take. But Mr Orban said in a big speech in March that he would seek "moral, political and legal restitution" against his critics after the elections. And he suggested last week that the government could try to change the constitution to stop the introduction of immigration quotas by the European Union.

A first step could be a "Stop Soros" law that would allow the government to impose financial and other penalties on non-governmental organizations that help asylum seekers and refugees.

Mr Orban's tough talk about immigrants is already being compared to a policy of closing the country. For the past three years, Mr. Orban has systematically curtailed the ability of people to seek asylum here.

Once a wall was erected by the communist rulers to keep the Hungarians from leaving the country, he built a steel and wire fence to prevent people from entering the country. He created two "transit zones" on the Serbian border, which are closed to the news media, where asylum seekers must go through.

The country allows only five asylum seekers per week to be treated at each location, and this is just the beginning of a laborious process that should make this country as unfriendly as possible.

The response of human rights lawyers and non-governmental organizations, often the target of government attacks, to Orban's victory was swift and defiant.

Amnesty International European director Gauri van Gulik said the group was firm in its determination to fight abuses.

"We will continue to resist attempts to incite hostilities against refugees and migrants and continue to support and defend supportive groups," she said. "We will not be intimidated by those who mull Hungary's critical voices and create an atmosphere of fear."

There is no doubt that Mr Orban's victory represents an even tougher test for the European Union, which will now have to deal with a heavily empowered Hungarian leader who has already challenged many of the basic democratic principles of the bloc ,

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker will write to Mr. Orban to congratulate him on his "clear victory". Said the spokesman for the commission, Margaritis Schinas .

But he added: "The European Union is a union of democracy and values, and President Juncker and the Commission believe that the defense of these principles and the defense of these values ​​is the common duty of all Member States." [19659017] However, the victory of Mr. Orban was acclaimed by other leaders of the world with similar views.

Yaroslav Kaszynski, the leader of the Polish ruling party, visited Mr. Orban in the last days of the election campaign and made his admiration clear.

"You can not think of Europe's future without remembering Viktor Orban without remembering Hungary, Fidesz," he said Friday. "Our present friendship is also a common path, a common path to our nations, which is independent and capable of deciding our own future, our own internal affairs."

Mr. Kaszynski said that the two countries are not against Europe, but "pointing Europe in the right direction".

In Germany, the leader of the far-right AfD party, Beatrix von Storch, tweeted a picture of himself with Mr Orban and a simple message: "Congratulations, Viktor Orban, a bad day for the EU, a good one for Europe. "

Geert Wilders, the right-wing extremist leader in the Netherlands, congratulated Mr Orban on Twitter and called the vote" a well-deserved victory! "France's Marine Le Pen suggested that the Hungarian election be the beginning of a nationalist wave across the continent could.

"A big and clear victory for Viktor Orban in Hungary: the reversal of values ​​and the mass migration of the EU were again rejected," tweeted Mrs. Le Pen. "The nationalists could have a majority in the next elections to the European Parliament in 2019 gain."

However, it remains to be seen if Mr Orban's success can be replicated elsewhere. As the O.S.C.E. As reported, his campaign was conducted in an environment that gave his party a clear advantage.

The OSCE issued a milder criticism of its election campaign four years ago, saying that the ruling party had a built-in advantage over biased media coverage. restrictive electoral rulings and the blurring of the dividing line between the political party and the state.

It was therefore unlikely that the group's criticism this time would compel the party to make any changes to the way it exploited the power of the state for its own purposes.

"A number of the problems are indeed the same," Wake said.

"The response to our previous recommendations was extremely limited," he admitted. "It was a missed opportunity."

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