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Hungarian Election Officials Confirm Two-Thirds Majority For Orban's Party

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

Election officials in Hungary have issued the final results of the country's April 8 parliamentary elections, confirming that the ruling Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban has secured a two-thirds majority.

The NVI electoral commission said on April 15 that Fidesz won 133 of the 199 parliamentary seats by picking up 49.6 percent of the vote. The far-right Jobbik party (19.2 percent) won 26 seats and the Social Democrats (12 percent) won 20 seats.

The final turnout figure was 69.3 percent.

Election monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the vote was characterized by "intimidating and xenophobic rhetoric, media bias, and opaque campaign financing."

The victory secured a third consecutive term as prime minister for Orban, his fourth term in the post overall.

The two-thirds majority gives Fidesz the power to alter the constitution and to adopt constitutional laws.

Orban, who also served as prime minister from 1998 to 2002, campaigned on an anti-immigrant platform and called the election a chance for Hungarians to reclaim their country.

Orban began his political career as an anticommunist liberal activist in the late 1980s, but he has been accused by critics of abandoning Hungary's democratic path for an increasingly authoritarian direction.

Over the past eight years, his government has expanded control over the media and, through allies in the business sector, gained influence over the banking, energy, construction, and tourism sectors.

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On April 14, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Budapest to denounce what organizers described as the unfair electoral system.

Protesters called for a recount, changes to electoral law, and strengthening protections for the media.

Orban has said that the new government will pass a series of laws restricting the work of independent nongovernmental organizations and penalizing organizations that provide assistance to migrants.

With reporting by AFP, Reuters, and dpa
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