Viktor Orban hits out at EU over coronavirus vaccine roll out
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The former US President backed the re-election of Mr Orban in a statement from his home in Florida on Monday. The Hungarian leader will face voters in April, later this year. Mr Trump, who had already voiced his support for the Hungarian premier when he was in the White House, said: “Viktor Orbán of Hungary truly loves his country and wants safety for his people.
“He has done a powerful and wonderful job in protecting Hungary, stopping illegal immigration, creating jobs, trade, and should be allowed to continue to do so in the upcoming election. He is a strong leader and respected by all.
“He has my complete support and endorsement for re-election as Prime Minister!”
Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party had a five-point lead over the united opposition in a December survey by pollster Median published in the weekly HVG.
For the first time since taking power in a 2010 landslide win, Prime Minister Orban will face a united front of opposition parties at a parliamentary election, likely to be held in April.
The opposition alliance includes the Democratic Coalition, the Socialists, liberals and the formerly far-right, and now centre-right, Jobbik.
The Median survey put support for the six united opposition parties at 34 percent of all voters, while Orban’s Fidesz scored 39 percent, up from 37 percent measured by Median in early October.
The opposition lost three points from 37 percent in October.
Median said two fringe parties, the Two-Tailed Dog Party (TTDP) and far-right Mi Hazank (Our Homeland) both scored 7 percent in its fresh survey.
Median said the opposition lost some of its support after a short-lived bounce following outsider Peter Marki-Zay’s primary election victory in October, but it was leading Fidesz among more educated, wealthier voters and those below the age of 40.
However, Median’s survey showed that 63 percent of all voters expect Fidesz to stay in power next year and 23 percent predicted an opposition win.
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The right-wing politician has been a controversial figure in the EU over the past few years, locking horns with Brussels on a number of issues.
In December, Mr Orban announced that his government would not change its immigration laws despite a European court ruling, stepping up his nationalist campaign ahead of the closely-fought national election.
Mr Orban said migration and LGBTQ rights, two issues which have caused conflict with the European Union, would dominate the agenda as his right-wing Fidesz party prepares for its first contested election after three landslides since 2010.
The row over democratic standards has led to a freeze in EU recovery funding to Hungary, complicating Orban’s path to re-election because the economy relies heavily on the funds to finance investment and boost growth.
Earlier in December, Hungary’s Constitutional Court avoided ruling on the primacy of European Union law in deciding on a disputed government move against immigration, staving off a deeper crisis after a similar Polish challenge sent shock waves through Europe.
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The court had considered a challenge by Orban’s government to an EU court finding that Budapest broke EU laws by deporting refugees over the border into Serbia.
The court said Budapest had the right to apply its own measures in areas where the EU has yet to take adequate steps for common implementation of EU rules as well as to safeguard its national identity, which Orban took as vindication of his policies.
Mr Orban told a news conference: “The government decided that we will not do anything to change the system of border protection.
“We will maintain the existing regime, even if the European court ordered us to change it.
“We will not change it and will not let anyone in.”
The Hungarian leader, whose anti-immigration stance boosted support for Fidesz after the 2015 migrant crisis, also said he would pursue another contested issue, a referendum on LGBTQ rights in the run-up to the election.
He casts himself as the defender of traditional Hungarian values against “LGBT ideology”.
In the referendum, Hungarians will be asked whether they support the holding of sexual orientation workshops in schools without parental consent, and whether they believe gender reassignment procedures should be “promoted” among children.
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