Monday, April 12, 2010

Hungary tilts to the right

It was entirely predictable. (Why do I keep saying that about political developments?) In the Hungarian election this Sunday, the right-wing erstwhile youthful party FIDESZ has secured a convincing majority though the final division of seats will not be decided until the second round on April 25.

The probable next Prime Minister, Viktor Orbàn, said in a style that is deeply reminiscent of our own uninspiring politicians:
Hungarians voted on Hungary and Hungary's future. Today Hungary's citizens have defeated hopelessness.

I feel it with all my nerves and know it deep in my heart that I face the biggest task of my life. I will need all the Hungarian people to solve that.
The far-right party, Jobbik, which means those on the right, has secured enough votes to enter the Parliament for the first time since the fall of Communism. Astonishing what EU membership will do for a country. This is a party that is openly anti-Semitic and viciously xenophobic. Its advance cannot be but viewed with some misgiving. And it was getting nowhere before 2005.
Preliminary results indicated that Fidesz had won 206 seats in the 386-member parliament, the Socialists 28, and Jobbik 26.

President Laszlo Solyom said the results had brought a "fundamental shift" in Hungarian politics.

"It is unprecedented... for a winning party to secure such a clear and broad-based mandate that we can see now from the numbers," he told reporters.

Conceding, Socialist party chairwoman Ildiko Lendvai said: "If results do not change materially, then one thing is clear: the Hungarian Socialist party has lost the opportunity to govern.

"But it has not lost, moreover it wants to grasp the opportunity to be the strongest opposition party."
Well, the Socialists do not exactly have many options at the moment but to be an opposition party. If FIDESZ does get the two-thirds majority it hankers after, it may, in theory, be in a position to change the constitution.

Hungary has an extremely complicated electoral system, which involves voting for a candidate and a party in the first round; in the second round there are votes in single seat constituencies where no overall winner was declared or where the turn-out was less thatn 50 per cent and there are various ways of ensuring that parties whose candidates may not have won any single seats but whose votes are above a certain threshold, do get some seats in the Parliament. Thus, even a reasonably clear-cut result needs a second round for final clarification.

1 comment:

  1. Just as Labour's broken promises are stuffing ballot-boxes for the BNP, I wonder if Euro-socialism has powered this vote?