Thousands rally against Orban's election victory in Budapest

Nellie Chapman
April 15, 2018

Tens of thousands of people have flocked to the streets in Hungary's capital, Budapest, to protest the election of Prime Minister Viktor Orban to a third consecutive term in office.

The protest was among the biggest in Hungary in recent years, similar in size to a mass rally prompted by Orban's plan to tax internet use four years ago and a pro-government demonstration called by Orban supporters shortly before the election.

With 99% of votes counted, his party, Fidesz, won around 50% of the vote, far ahead of the nationalist Jobbik party (19%) and a Socialist-led centre-left alliance (12%). Leftist opposition candidates carried two-thirds of the voting districts in Budapest.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe has said the election did not offer opposition parties a level playing field amid a host of problems marring a vote that nonetheless generally respected fundamental rights.

The march was organised through a Facebook group called "We are the majority".

The protests, which remained relatively peaceful, were attended by over 10,000 people waving Hungarian and European Union flags, reports said.

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According to AFP reporters at the scene, around 100,000 people took part in the march. The demonstrators claimed newly re-elected Prime Minister Viktor Orban effectively stole the election with an unfair electoral system.

"We won, that's it", Orban said in response to the protests against him.

The demonstrations came a week after Mr. Orban and his Fidesz party secured a convincing victory in national elections, their power seemingly on the ascent.

"They are pathetic", she said. "This is our last chance to do something for this country".

Orban, who based his campaign on demonising migrants, blames Soros and organisations supported by his Open Society Foundations for wanting to allow thousands of immigrants into Hungary.

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