Hungarian Socialists win the election

The Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, conceded defeat in the general elections on 21 April. His Fidesz/Democratic Forum party suffered defeat by the election coalition of Socialists and Free Democrats.

According to preliminary unofficial results, the Socialists won 178 seats, the Free Democrats 19 seats, and Fidesz 188 seats in the 386-seat Parliament. But Fidesz has no coalition partners in the new parliament and cannot form a majority government.

Peter Medgyessy of the opposition Socialist Party is expected to become Hungary’s new Prime Minister.

The opposition Socialist Party won 41.2 percent of the votes in the first round, against 40.3 percent for the joint centre-right list, dominated by the ruling Fidesz party. In the second round, the Socialists signed a co-operation agreement with the Free Democrats, the only other party to cross the 5 percent threshold to enter parliament in the first round.

The Socialist Party is perceived in Brussels as more pro-market reform and less nationalist. The current government, led by Viktor Orban, has upset Hungary’s neighbours by giving Hungary extraterritorial rights over its ethnic minorities in the neighbouring countries.

EU Enlargement Commissioner, Günther Verheugen, stated that Hungarian voters “rejected the temptation of extremist, xenophobic, anti-European and anti-democratic forces already in the first round”. He congratulated the winners and said he was looking forward to collaborating with them.


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