Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will maintain close relations with Putin. Now he accuses his party of cheating in pursuit of victory in the elections.
Sunday is the election of Hungary’s new National Assembly, and like so many other things now, the war in Ukraine is marked.
And the man who is seeking re-election as prime minister of the European country will keep close relations with the authority in Moscow.
Orbán, who has been accused of using xenophobia as a way to intimidate voters, continues to gain attention after 12 years in power.
This time because of his relationship with Putin’s Russia.
Not with Kyiv
Viktor Orban approached Russia over time in search of economic and political gain.
Just weeks before the Russian invasion of Ukraine Urban met Putin to discuss the escalating conflict.
As the West turns to Putin, Hungary has become a destabilizing factor in both NATO and the European Union that the Kremlin may appreciate.
Want to choose a direction in Hungary: Urban is Putin’s dog
Although Hungary is Ukraine’s neighbor, Orban did not join when prime ministers of other countries traveled to Kyiv to show their support for Zelensky.
Orbán’s position in the heated conflict between Ukraine and Russia has made Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia increasingly critical of Hungary.
Although Hungary, as a member of NATO and the European Union, contributes troops on the Ukrainian border and sanctions against Russia, Orban will not take any measures that could backfire on Hungary economically.
He also does not want to send weapons to Ukraine and denies sending weapons across the border of Hungary to Ukraine.
Not a “Ukrainian Girlfriend”
While up to 91 percent of Hungarian opposition voters believe Russia is the attacking party in the war in Ukraine, only 44 percent of Orbán’s party voters think the same, according to a poll. Advertising Institute.
Orbán himself is betting that a good relationship with Russia will keep Hungary out of the war.
– God will not hold me accountable for the Ukrainian people, but for the Hungarian. Hungary’s politics is neither pro-Ukrainian nor pro-Russian. The Prime Minister said in a radio interview last week, that it is a friend of Hungary, according to the Prime Minister Politico.
Ballot papers in the trash
In the final days leading up to Sunday’s election, both election observers and Hungarian newspapers reported that ballot papers had lost their way.
The most exciting story is from Transylvania, where a bag full of partially burned ballot papers was said to have been found near an illegal dump, according to Hungary today.
It is said that all the burning ballot papers, from Hungarians with voting rights and living in Romania, were supporting the opposition parties.
Urban and his party received criticism Among others, the European Union, the Helsinki Committee, Transparency International and Freedom House, the country is developing in an increasingly corrupt and undemocratic direction.
Democracy itself is at stake in Hungary, says democracy expert and political scientist Stafan Lindberg at the University of Gothenburg to NTB.
Orban’s rival for prime minister, conservative Christian Peter Markie Zay, was subjected to a widespread smear campaign before the election with posters printed with negative messages.
“After twelve years of brainwashing, it really is an achievement that we still have a fighting chance in this election,” Marki Z. told Morgenbladet.
Planning a large-scale observation mission
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is planning a large-scale monitoring mission during elections, which is rare and has only been done once in Europe, according to France 24.
The organization has already noted that many of the problems it referred to in the recent elections have not been addressed.
The 2018 election was “the dirtiest of the past 30 years,” says the leader of election monitoring group Unhack Democracy, according to RFI.
Her group concluded that there were, among other things, bribery, threats, postal vote tampering, ballot misrepresentation and errors in the electoral system software, RFI writes.
Left-liberal opposition politician and MEP Clara Dobrev told the same newspaper that the war had given Hungarians a growing sense of insecurity ahead of the elections.
– Urban or Europe – that’s what we vote on, you say.
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