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Hungary: Prime Minister Admits Runoff Defeat

Budapest, 22 April (RFE/RL) -- Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban has acknowledged defeat in a general election that looks set to return the center-left to power. According to preliminary unofficial results, the ruling conservative FIDESZ party won close to 49 percent of the vote. Since FIDESZ has no coalition partners in the new parliament, however, this is not enough to form a majority government.

Instead, the opposition Socialists -- who won 46 percent -- are expected to form a coalition government with their allies. Since the first round -- when they took a surprise lead -- the Socialists have struck an election pact with the small center-left Liberal Alliance of Free Democrats.

The turnout yesterday was slightly higher than the record 71 percent in the first round on 7 April.