There will be a parliamentary election in Hungary April 3. It will determine whether Viktor Orban is to continue as prime minister. Many see Orban as an aspiring dictator. One reason: Orban has been systematically stifling any viewpoints he does not control throughout his tenure in office. This has gotten to the point where Hungary has dropped 69 places in the Press Freedom Index, an index prepared by the “Reporters Without Borders” organization.
Fortunately, Orban and his party, Fidesz, are on the receiving end of a serious challenge by an unlikely coalition of six opposition parties.
Those parties, which agree on hardly anything else, are working as a single united bloc, which they see, sensibly, as necessary to contend with an uneven playing field created by Orban’s party’s seizure of much of the media and his intimidation of the rest. Republikon (a domestic think tank) has been polling and its results show the race is now neck-and-neck.
The Thing to Know:
Could Orban’s government simply declare him the winner whatever the vote is? That is possible, but the influence of the European Union (of which Hungary is a member) limits the odds of such blatant cheating somewhat.
Orban’s government, much as it talks of going its own way, is not so mad that it doesn’t want to remain a member of the EU in good standing.