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Victory by Viktor Orban rings alarm bells in other European Union capitals
12 April 2018, 12:21 | Simon Arnold
Fidesz Dominance Orban's Fidesz party set to win constitutional majority at elections Source Hungarian Elections Office
With 99 per cent of the votes counted, Orban and his right-wing populist Fidesz party has won 134 seats in the 199 seat parliament, with the second largest party - far-right nationalist Jobbik - only claiming 25 seats.
Far from stepping back from his campaign rhetoric which was fought on an anti-immigration platform, Mr Orban said his re-election had provided him with a "strong mandate" to introduce a raft of changes in the Hungarian parliament. Viktor Orban had previously refused to participate in the program of resettlement of refugees in the European Union.
French National Front leader Marine Le Pen said Orban's victory was yet another rejection of "the change of values and the mass immigration extolled by the European Union".
"It's very clear that there are controversial topics in our cooperation", Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin on Monday, flagging disagreement especially over Hungary's response to the refugee crisis and its refusal to accept an European Union system to distribute migrants.
The proposed bill gained its name after the US-Hungarian philanthropist George Soros, who has promoted the rights and welfare of asylum seekers and migrants around the world.
Asked about the "Stop Soros" bill meant to restrict the work of civic groups supporting refugees and assist asylum-seekers, Orban said it had been already approved by voters.
As Mr Orban promised to push ahead with reforms, his campaign was criticised as "xenophobic" by official worldwide election monitors yesterday after Mr Orban demonised refugees as "Muslim invaders" and warned of a Jewish conspiracy to dilute Hungary's Christian identity. It would force them to get government permits, their income received from overseas would be taxed and they could be banned from going nearer than eight kilometres from Hungary's borders, where asylum-seekers file claims.
Orban added that he would cultivate deeper relations with nationalist-ruled Poland and the conservative German region of Bavaria in his new term in office due to their direct support for his re-election bid. "For me, these two relations will be the favored relations in the future". Still, relations between Orban and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been weighed down by their differences over immigration. He did not provide any details on the possible changes in Hungary's cabinet.
Orban is fervently anti-migration and based his re-election campaign on the demonization of the mainly Muslim migrants coming to Europe. "Thank you for the contribution to making political opinion on the Hungarian election".
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