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Hungary Sets Vote For April With Orban Facing Tight Race

Viktor Orban has been in power since 2010.
Viktor Orban has been in power since 2010.

Hungary's president has set April 3 as the date for the Central European country's next general elections, expected to be a tough test for Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his right-wing government.

"I announce the date (for the parliamentary) election as April 3," President Janos Ader said in a statement posted on his website.

Orban, a nationalist who has been in power since 2010, faces a challenge to his rule with multiple opposition parties agreeing to unite behind one candidate for the first time.

Recent polls suggest a close race against the coalition's candidate for prime minister, Peter Marki-Zay.

Hungary's 'Unexpected Candidate' Could Be A Political Threat To The Populist Orban
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Orban's critics say his ruling Fidesz party has dismantled democratic institutions in Hungary, while trashing judicial independence and controlling the media.

He has also stepped up an anti-LGBT campaign as part of an ongoing drive to depict itself as the guardian of Christian values against Western liberalism that also includes a hard-line anti-immigration policy.

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