By: Jenilyn Brhel
Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe
BUDAPEST, Hungary – Viktor Orban has just won re-election in Hungary, and wants the nation to know that “significant changes and modifications can be expected.”
Orban’s party now has a supermajority of seats in Hungary’s parliament, having won 134 of the 199 seats in the national assembly.
Orban led his campaign on an anti-immigration platform. As the incumbent Prime Minister, Orban has employed various tactics in order to gain public support.
His influence has even found its way into school textbooks. One book espouses Orban’s belief that refugees pose a threat to Hungary, stating that “it can be problematic for different cultures to coexist.”
Orban’s tactics have been a point of contention in the European Union. As part of his campaign for re-election, he pledged to tighten Hungary’s borders and prevent migrants from getting into the country.
Orban believes that the European Union, the United Nations, and philanthropist George Soros intend to turn Hungary into an “immigrant country.”
As part of his efforts to prevent migrants from coming into the country, Orban supports the “Stop Soros” bill that would prevent civic workers in their efforts to assist and support asylum seekers. If the bill is passed, civic groups would be forced to obtain government permits. In addition, they would not be able to operate within five miles of Hungary’s borders, which is typically where migrants file claims seeking admission into the country.
Orban is outspoken in his belief that Hungary’s borders should not be opened to migrants. He once said to a Hungarian television station: “We will never allow Hungary to become a target country for immigrants. We do not want to see significantly sized minorities with different cultural characteristics and backgrounds among us. We want to keep Hungary as Hungary.”
Between 2015 and 2016, a wave of over one million migrants arrived in Europe. During that time, the European Commission proposed compulsory quotas be enacted to distribute the asylum-seekers to European Union member nations. Orban vehemently opposed the proposal, and in June of 2015 erected a barrier fence along the southern border of Hungary.
During his campaign, Orban refused to speak to opponents or the media, instead choosing to limit his appearances to rallies for is supporters.
Opponents of Orban believe that he is weakening the democratic system and attempting to concentrate too much power in too few hands. He has responded to these observations with assurances that “Hungary continues to stand on constitutional foundations. Within those, we will do everything that serves the interests of the Hungarian people.”
For more information, please see:
BBC News – The man who Thinks Europe has Been Invaded – 6 April 2018
BBC News – Viktor Orban Victory in Hungary: German Minister Warns EU – 9 April 2018
The New York Times – How Viktor Orban Bends Hungarian Society to His Will – 27 March 2018
Time – Hungary’s Far Right Leader Is Going Nowhere—and Europe Should Be Worried – 11 April 2018
The Washington Post – Hungary’s Viktor Orban to Make ‘Significant Changes’ in Govt – 10 April 2018