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Hungary’s decisive rebuff to the liberal left 

Hungary’s general election on Sunday represents a huge victory for Viktor Orban’s Fidesz which won over 53% of the popular vote in comparison to 35% for the opposition alliance United for Hungary. In terms of seats, Fidesz won 135 of the 199, which means that it retains a two thirds majority.

Not only did the leader of Hungary’s strange opposition movement, Peter Marki-Zay, fail to fulfil the hopes and beliefs of lefty liberals from Portmarnock to Portland and win Sunday’s general election, but he even managed to lose his own constituency seat in the National Assembly although he will presumably take one of the 93 seats filled from the party lists.

Marki-Zay could be accurately described as an opportunist who was chose to head an alliance that included the main successor of the former Communist Party, the Greens, and Jobbik which was not that long ago a neo-Nazi party imbued with nostalgia for Hungary’s World War II collaborators.

Marki-Zay’s attempt to appeal to this ragtag had him at various times claim that Jesus was a socialist (which I did myself when I was 11), that Viktor Orban’s son is gay (a strange gambit for a hero of the LGBT+ movement) and that Hungary’s minimum wage is too high.

The referendum held on Sunday to restrict the promotion of transgenderism in schools and to protect the primacy of parents and guardians in the provision of sex education to children was overwhelmingly approved by those who voted, but does not appear to have reached the threshold of 50% of eligible voters to make it a binding poll. A campaign to encourage people opposed to the referendum to spoil their ballots believe this may have accounted for up to 20% of ballots.

The victory of Fidesz represents a huge setback not only for the liberal left, dominated by the former Communists who were part of the Stalinist dictatorship that oversaw the bloody suppression of the 1956 Revolution and decades of terror and repression, but for the liberal pro EU left in the rest of Europe, including Ireland.

In common with all of the former vassal states of Soviet communism, Hungary still has a complex and uneasy relationship with Russia. Despite confident predictions from the more inane elements of the western media, Orban strongly criticised Putin for invading Ukraine and has not vetoed EU sanctions. Hungary has also welcomed huge numbers of Ukrainian refugees.

He has also made it clear that Hungary will not be taking part in military action. He has been lambasted by the long rifles here and in other remote locations for doing what their own governments are not doing, and Hungary was specifically targeted by Ukrainian President Zelensky during the election campaign for this, which Orban correctly interpreted and referred to in his victory speech on Sunday evening as an attempt by Zelensky to influence the elections.

Of course, Hungary is only doing what all the other NATO member states are doing in terms of military support for Ukraine. Nothing. Indeed when the other bete noir of the EU liberal left, Poland, sent fighter jets in March it was attacked by these very same people for going outside NATO and EU policy.

The fact is that none of the western liberal left knows a thing about any of the countries on Russia’s borders. Which is hardly surprising given that many of them were secret regarders or even openly supportive in their former guises as Communist Parties, of the old Soviet Union. None of them did anything to oppose same when they were crushing the Hungarian democratic revolution in 1956.

Hungarians and Poles and others remember this. It was not a slip of the tongue therefore when Orban last night referred to “the international left wing all around, bureaucrats of Brussels, all the money and the institutions of the Soros empire” among those who had thrown the kitchen sink at a democratic election in support of the opposition to the elected government of a democratic western state that is a member of the EU and NATO.

The egregious attempt by the corporate funded NGO “election observers”, and the politically motivated decision by the OCSE to send a small team of observers who were welcomed by the Justice Minister Judith Varga so that they can once again confirm the openness of the electoral process, has turned up no evidence of any attempt by Fidesz to fix the result.

Some people just seem not to be capable of accepting that there are still people in Europe who have not entirely surrendered to their mission to destroy its foundations.

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