Skip to content
Nation & World
Link copied to clipboard

Hungary premier wins his 3d term

Lawmakers elected Viktor Orban after his party secured a two-thirds majority.

BUDAPEST, Hungary - Hungarian lawmakers on Saturday 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.

Orban was supported by 130 deputies from Fidesz and its small ally, the Christian Democrats, while 57 lawmakers 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 last four years.

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

In his lengthy speech, Orban also backed the new government in Ukraine, where about 150,000 ethnic Hungarians live.

The authorities there "enjoy our sympathy and support in their task of creating a democratic Ukraine," Orban said.

The fate of about 2.5 million ethnic Hungarians in neighboring countries - in areas it lost after World War I - has long been a delicate issue for Hungary. Orban's government has allowed many of them to obtain Hungarian citizenship and vote in Hungarian elections.

"Hungarians of the Carpathian Basin are entitled to dual citizenship, community rights, and autonomy," Orban said. "This is the stance we will represent in international politics."

Orban said that Hungary, a country of 10 million people, was "a member but not a hostage" of NATO and the European Union and would continue to defend its national interests.

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.