Stories by Kristóf Szombati

Expert Voices

Hungary’s Viktor Orbán sails to victory, tightening his grip

Viktor Orban waving to crowd of supporters
Prime Minister Orban addresses supporters in Budapest after the announcement of partial election results on April 8, 2018. Photo: Laszlo Balogh/Getty Images

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party scored a resounding victory in yesterday's parliamentary elections, unexpectedly securing a two-thirds mandate for the third time in a row.

Why it matters: Since Orbán came to power in 2010, Hungary has moved progressively toward authoritarian rule. The high turnout (70%) and decisive victory will embolden his party to commandeer the remaining independent branches of government — the judiciary and local municipalities — and to further suppress civic opposition.

Expert Voices

Hungarian election a hobbled referendum on authoritarianism

A poster featuring Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban hangs prior to the upcoming Hungarian parliamentary elections on April 8, on March 17, 2018 in Budapest, Hungary.
A poster in Budapest featuring Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Photo: Adam Berry via Getty Images

Hungary will hold parliamentary elections on April 8. If Fidesz, the ruling party, wins as expected, it would be the first time since the country's transition to liberal democracy in 1989 that a party received a third governmental mandate.

Why it matters: Since Prime Minister Viktor Orbán came to power in 2010, Hungary has moved progressively toward authoritarian rule. A decisive victory would embolden his party to commandeer the remaining independent branches of government — the judiciary and local municipalities — and to further clamp down on the civic and political opposition.