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Hungary’s PM Orbán is challenging Western democracies

By Andris Heks - posted Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Viktor Orbán has been a highly controversial, nationalist right-of-centre Christian Democrat; a somewhat illiberal figure within the EU and NATO. He has been called a 'Putin ally' and his rule in Hungary, a 'Fürer's democracy'.

An independent European committee was in Hungary to scrutinise the fairness or otherwise of the recent election which Orban won with a record over two-third majority.

The committee found that while there were no significant election irregularities, the government's long imposed national media restrictions on the opposition made the information availability about the competing parties' platforms a completely uneven playfield.


Orbán, for example, refused to have even a single pre-election debate with the leader of the opposition, Márki-Zay, before the elections.

The opposition party only received five minutes time to present its platform on national TV.

But Orbán was able to appear regularly both on the national TV and radio, presenting his platform to interviewers who demonstrated so much bias towards him, that the sessions were more infomercial propaganda than genuine interviews.

However, unlike Russia, there are plenty of independent and anti-government portals also available on the Hungarian internet, even though they attract much smaller audiences than the restricted national mainstream media.

On the right, Orbán has been close to Trump and Netanyahu and on the left to Putin and Xi Jinping, all authoritarian nationalist leaders.

He has had ongoing stoushes with the EU, of which Hungary is a member.Following his huge election victory at home, the EU has just announced that they have started another investigation against his government's suspected constitutional rule of law and ethical standards breaches, incompatible with the EU's constitutional standards.


In 2018 the EU wanted to suspend Hungary's voting rights in the EU Parliament because of Hungary's radical anti-migrant policies.

Hungary was the first country in Europe to build a wall to prevent refugees from illegally entering the country. Yet, as the years passed, Hungary's stand started to have an impact with the hardening of other EU countries' border policies towards refugees too, including Poland and Italy.

Orbán is on a mission to effect a renaissance of conservative Christian Democracy in the ever more secular Europe.

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About the Author

Andris Heks worked as a Production Assistant and Reporter on 'This Day Tonight', ABC TV's top rating pioneering Current Affairs Program and on 'Four Corners' from 1970 till 1972. His is the author of the play 'Ai Weiwei's Tightrope Act' and many of his articles can be viewed here:

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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