Thousands of anti-government demonstrators protested in Budapest against what they viewed as an unfair election, which gave Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban a sweeping victory last week.
Saturday’s rally drew a crowd estimated to be around 100,000 people, AFP reported, citing the organizers of the event. People marched through the city center to parliament, chanting, “We are the majority,” amid claims that the April 8 election was manipulated to give the party of Hungarian PM Viktor Orban a sweeping victory.
Orban, 54, who has been labelled a ‘nationalist’ in Europe, won a third straight term in office last Sunday. His Fidesz party will now have two-thirds of the seats in parliament. Most of his voters come from rural areas, while the opposition won the vote in Budapest.
“Fidesz’s election system and the government’s hate campaign have pushed the majority into a one-third (parliamentary) minority,” the rally’s organizers said in a Facebook post before the event, inviting people who would like a “free Hungary” to attend.
The organizers called for: a recount of the votes, an unbiased public media, a new election law, and better relations with the opposition.
Orban’s stance on the European migrant crisis, specifically his anti-migration rhetoric, helped the outspoken politician – who has been in office since 2010 – to secure popular support. Despite pressure from the EU, he refused to take in refugees as part of a quota for EU member states, repeatedly criticizing Brussels over its ineffective migration policies.
In his final address before Hungarians went to the polls, Orban once again lambasted Europe’s migration policies. “Immigration is the blight that slowly but surely devours our homeland,” he said.
“Mass migration threatens the everyday security to which we are accustomed. With mass migration comes a greater threat of terror.”