Update (1700ET): AFP reports that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban claimed a "great victory" in Sunday's general election, as partial results gave his Fidesz party the lead.
Addressing a jubilant crowd chanting his name, Orban said:
"We have won a great victory -- a victory so great you can perhaps see it from the moon and certainly from Brussels".
This will be Orban's fourth consecutive term in office.
“Hungarians decided that they back peace and security,” Orban’s foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, told TV2 Sunday night.
As Bloomberg reports, the unexpectedly clear victory (Orban’s Fidesz party leads United for Hungary, a six-member opposition alliance, 55% to 33% in the party list contest, according to the National Election Office, with 63% of the votes counted) defied polls ahead of the vote that had predicted Orban would face the toughest challenge to re-election in his 12 years in power, even as changes to the electoral process under his rule gave Fidesz an advantage.
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Update (1600ET): Much to the chagrin of the elites - as detailed below - Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party took a commanding lead in Hungarian elections, according to an early count that appeared to dim the chances of a six-party opposition alliance to block him from a fourth consecutive term.
With 36% of the votes counted, mostly from rural districts that are the core of Orban’s support base, his Fidesz party was leading a six-party opposition alliance 58% to 30% on Sunday in the party list vote.
It was also tipped to win a large majority of the electoral districts that may give it close to a two-thirds parliamentary majority.
“We expect a clear victory,” Cabinet Minister Gergely Gulyas told reporters.
A far-right party, Mi Hazank, may also clear the parliamentary threshold.
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As Tom Luongo detailed earlier via his Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog, today Hungarians went to the polls to decide their future.
What they may not have realized is that they also are deciding on the future of most of the European continent in the process.
Sitting Prime Minister Viktor Orban is vying for his fourth term in office, having been in power for 12 years and he is under intense opposition from within and without. It’s an open secret that Orban is reviled in Brussels.
And because of his basic sense of common decency and nationalism that means he must be removed from office in order to ensure the full consolidation of power with the European Commission and European Council.
That only happens with his removal and a Brussels-centric puppet controlled by George Soros and the Davos Crowd put in his place. There is a real sense of desperation surrounding this bid to remove Orban.
The formation of a ridiculous Not-Orban coalition of no less than six parties, none of whom would piss in each other’s mouths if their throats were on fire, is pure desperation. It is the apotheosis of the Davos strategy to put in power weak coalitions that can be torn apart at the seams but whose members are also so enamored with being in power they won’t collapse the government as popular opinion turns against them.
This is how Davos engineered Mario Draghi’s takeover in Italy. Five Star Movement cut a deal with the Democrats to oust Lega despite the polls being completely against the idea of such a government after Matteo Salvini pulled out of his coalition with Five Star back in 2019.
Germany’s ‘Traffic Light’ coalition members have almost nothing in common but in no way will you see the FDP, for example, pull out of it with their sinking poll numbers, now just 8%, even though they could. Instead, we see Finance Minister and FDP leader Christian Lindner doing exactly what he was put in power to do, gum up the financial works and prep the stage for the transference of Germany’s power within the EU to the EU.
But all of that unravels if Orban is free for another four years to veto every stupid and belligerent idea that comes out of the European Council. Hungary is already under financing sanctions from the EU over their anti-LGBT laws, threatening to block distributions from the EU budget.
The EU have already gotten the Poles to knuckle under because the Poles are dependent on Germany for gas flows thanks to their own intransigence in cutting deals with Russia for energy.
Hungary, on the other hand, has energy independence from Brussels by having contracted directly with Gazprom for natural gas via Turkstream’s train that goes into Serbia and Hungary. This should give you some context as to why the EU is trying to sanction Serbia and cut off the flows of that pipeline where it crosses EU territory in Bulgaria.
With a fiscally, monetarily (they are not on the euro) and energy independent Hungary there is little argument for them staying in the EU if Brussels is going to treat them as second class members. Orban and his government have been resolute in their refusal to get involved in the Russia/Ukraine conflict even though there has been serious pressure applied by NATO.
This helped Orban in recent polls along with the war itself. The natural tendency is to not change leadership during a time of crisis. So, I don’t anticipate Orban having much trouble winning the election, if the election is anything close to ‘fair.’
And that’s the crux of the conflict.
To ask why the election wouldn’t be ‘fair,’ let’s think through the consequences of an Orban victory.
Hungarians would have a strong incentive to reverse their support of EU membership. It is the one thing that really hamstrings Orban politically within the EU’s power structures.
Orban needs to get past this election to begin making the case that Hungary is not better off in the EU rather than outside it. Then he can then fully express his power within the EU to slow down, if not grind to a halt, any further expansion of EU aggression against Russia.
What Davos has tried to do in response is ratchet up the fear of Russia expanding west and stir up memories of life under the Warsaw Pact, which is the main source of basic support for the EU among many Europeans in the first place.
Putin has made his intentions very clear. The dividing line for him are the republics of the former USSR, not the Warsaw Pact countries. In fact, as Dexter White has pointed out in multiple podcasts (this one in particular), which I and others like The Saker agree with, Russia doesn’t have the force projection capability or desire to do so even if they wanted to much past the Dnieper River in Ukraine no less Poland or Hungary.
So, that narrative is pure fear porn for electioneering purposes.
It reeks of existential fear over what an Orban administration looks like free for four years from further meddling by external forces. And since the EU is already refusing to give Hungary the money they are owed under EU rules, this is an easy argument for Orban to make to the people, post-election.
Hungary standing tall against further European integration while Russia holds serve on its territorial gains in Ukraine would make a powerful argument to most of the Visegrads that there’s an opportunity for life without either Russia or the EU controlling their futures.
The opportunity exists here for a new bloc to emerge which frees many of these landlocked countries to gain access to the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean seas if they overcome their fear of Russia and look West to the threats coming from Brussels.
That would also mark the limit of their war against populism and sets up the possibility of a political earthquake in France later this month when Emmanuel Macron faces off against a surging Marine LePen in the second round of Presidential elections there.
Look for a lot of post-election shenanigans in Hungary if Orban wins the initial vote. The OSCE will use their typical game of using biased ‘exit polls’ to throw shade on the results citing differences between their polls and the official results to gin up anti-Orban sentiment on the ground in Budapest.
We should see a replay of 2020’s riots in Minsk over the results in Belarus. Now, I’m not suggesting that Orban is going to stuff the ballot box like Lukashenko likely did (who didn’t need to), but that will be the narrative constructed all across the western press.
We will be subjected to the worst kind of disinformation campaign against Orban. It will be an order of magnitude worse than anything he’s experienced in the past. I hope for his part that he’s aware of these threats and has contingency plans in place.
We’ll find out this week.
Because the future of the EU hangs in the balance here against a backdrop of forces pulling at it on which the whole of Davos’ grand plans to make the world safe for Eurotrash technocrats possible.
And if that’s not enough of an incentive for everyone to cheat, lie and steal this election I don’t know what is.
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