Hungary's Orban scores sweeping victory in boost to European Union populists

Hungary election: Incumbent PM Viktor Orban set for major victory as his right-wing party takes overwhelming lead

The anticipated landslide victory of strongman Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his right-wing Fidesz party has national populists across Europe uncorking champagne bottles.

By securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament, Mr. Orban's party, Fidesz - along with its ally, the Christian Democrats - now has the power to change the Constitution and further bend the nation to his will.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Hungary's closest ally in the European Union, tweeted: "The road to reform is never easy", adding that "the support of the majority of society shows that it's worth making the effort".

Borissov, in his message to Orbán, said: "I highly appreciate the friendly relations between Bulgaria and Hungary and I am confident of the excellent prospects for the development of fruitful co-operation in bilateral, regional and multilateral terms". He even sees himself as leader of something greater than Hungary, calling for a global alliance against migration, and speaks on behalf of "Europe" and the West. "Christianity is Europe's last hope", he told supporters along the banks of the Danube on February 18.

Images of the Hungarian-born Soros, 87, were plastered on billboards and Orban depicted opposition figures running in the election as "Soros candidates".

These include some of the measures that have put Orban on a collision course with Brussels, such as what critics call his government's erosion of media and judicial independence, as well as its crackdown on civil society groups, particularly those funded by Hungarian-born United States billionaire George Soros.

Orban is opposed to the European Union policies on accepting refugees and immigrants.

"The people of Hungary have voted yesterday and the European Union is a union of democracy and values", a spokesman for the EU executive told a regular press briefing. While Merkel said in a congratulatory letter to Orban that he can count on Germany as a "reliable partner" in European and bilateral matters, her chief spokesman referenced divisions.

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Orban has not been the only politician to target Soros for his liberal policies.

Luxembourg's foreign minister says Germany, France and others should weigh in against what he calls a "tumor" of scaremongering after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban won a clear election victory.

The radical nationalist Jobbik party was in second place with 20 percent of the vote, while a Socialist-led coalition took 12.2 percent. "The people came to the polling stations on Sunday thinking that the main thing is protecting Hungary from migrants, whom we don't have here".

On Origo.hu, a formerly independent website now owned by government allies, stories promoted Orban while also focusing on migration, The headlines included "Migrant gangs fought in England", "They can't stand it anymore in Sweden: They've had enough of migrants", and "A migrant in underpants beat a German retiree half to death".

Magyar Nemzet, a national daily newspaper established in 1938, said on its website Tuesday that it was working on its last edition.

Fidesz' victory also highlighted the divide between the deeply conservative and more religious countryside and the cultured urban class in Budapest.

European Council President Donald Tusk sent Orban a letter of congratulations that made reference to the EU's expectations that Orban would do more to defend core Western values. Hungary's adamant refusal to accept immigrants or refugees is popular in Hungary, where these election results show that the government bombast, echoed in the state-loyal media, finds resonance.

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