Orbán loses supermajority seeking to replace Navracsics in by-election

Tibor Navracsics [European Commission]

Hungary’s ruling Fidesz-KDNP party alliance lost its dominant two-thirds majority in parliament after it lost a by-election in the town of Veszprem on Sunday (22 February).

The result could hamper Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s efforts to make amendments to the constitution or pass other major legislation, which require the support of more than 66% of the house to go through.

Orbán was reelected for a second consecutive term in 2014. But support for his Fidesz party has eroded in the past few months.

The seat turned vacant after Tibor Navracsics, a former deputy prime minister and foreign minister from Fidesz, was appointed European Commissioner last year.

In an update posted on his Facebook page, 51-year-old Orbán thanked Fidesz supporters and said the result was a warning sign that Fidesz “cannot sit on its laurels”.

An independent candidate supported by the leftist opposition, Zoltan Kesz, won 42.66% of the votes in the by-election in Veszprem in western Hungary. Fidesz candidate Lajos Nemedi got 33.64%.

Commenting on the by-election in Veszprém in Hungary yesterday, S&D Group President Gianni Pittella said:
“Hungary woke up from the nightmare under Prime Minister Orbán. The victory of Zoltan Kész in yesterday's election in the Veszprém district deprives Prime Minister Orbán of his two-thirds majority in the Hungarian Parliament. There is no room for illiberal forces in Europe.
“Prime Minister Orbán's regime is crumbling down right there in the heart of the Fidesz fortress. The Hungarian progressive forces, supported actively by the S&D Group during the campaign, proved to be a genuine alternative for those loyal to fundamental European values. This is only the beginning. European values will prevail over non-liberalism.

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