Orban scores crushing victory as Ukraine war solidifies support

  • Orban scores crushing victory as Ukraine war solidifies support



    Hungary's nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban looked set for a fourth consecutive win in Sunday's (Apr 3) election, as voters endorsed his ambition of a conservative, "illiberal" state and shrugged off concerns over Budapest's close ties with Moscow.

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    Russia's Feb 24 invasion of Ukraine had appeared to upend Orban's campaign in recent weeks, forcing him into awkward manouvering to explain decade-old cosy business relations with President Vladimir Putin.

    But he mounted a successful campaign to persuade his Fidesz party's core electorate that the six-party opposition alliance of Peter Marki-Zay promising to mend ties with the European Union could lead the country into war, an accusation the opposition denied.

    Surrounded by leading party members, a triumphant Orban, 58, said Sunday's victory came against all odds.

    ""We have scored a victory so big, that it can be seen even from the Moon," he said. "We have defended Hungary's sovereignty and freedom."

    Preliminary results with 91 per cent of national party list votes counted showed Orban's Fidesz party leading with 53.5 per cent of votes versus 34.6 per cent for Marki-Zay's opposition alliance. Fidesz was also ahead in 88 of 106 single-member constituencies.