ON 8TH APRIL the right wing FIDESZ party, with their programme of nationalist xenophobia, won a third term of office. The party of Hungarian strongman Viktor Orbán took an unprecedented 48.5% of the popular vote, winning over two-thirds of the seats in Parliament. In second place, with 19.5% of the vote, was the neo-nazi Jobbik party, now remodelled as a right wing anti-corruption party. Behind them were the socialists (12.3%), the Greens (6.9%) and the liberal DK party (5.6%).
The election itself was not free and fair. The system was designed by FIDESZ alone to benefit FIDESZ. The National Electoral Committee is in the hands of FIDESZ. The seat boundaries are gerrymandered to favour the ruling party. Ethnic Hungarians in Romania who are disproportionately pro-FIDESZ can send their votes to Hungary though couriers; but still the 95% plus FIDESZ vote from them is hard to believe. Hungarians in Britain and elsewhere can only vote at embassies with the strictest of checks. But one of the biggest spoilers is the mass of fake parties sponsored by FIDESZ supporters who muddle the ballot papers.
The major reason for the FIDESZ landslide was the power of state propaganda behind FIDESZ. Since 2015, Orbán has trumpeted the following mendacious antisemitic and Islamophobic message: George Soros, the Hungarian-American Jewish philanthropist (“not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money”), has a plan to destroy the Christian nation by settling millions of Muslims who would rape and plunder the country. According to this nonsense, the EU and opposition politicians are all in the pay of George Soros. FIDESZ under Viktor Orbán is the only means of keeping Hungary for the Hungarians.
A state ‘information’ campaign plastered the country with thousands of street posters depicting Soros as puppet master with the leaders of the opposition parties on his strings. In the run-up to the election, this campaign used the Farage Brexit poster showing hordes of immigrants arriving with the simple slogan ‘STOP’. Hungarian state TV highlights stories of Muslim crimes, both fake and exaggerated, with the government providing instructions to news editors on how to present these stories. The press, national and local, is mostly in the hands of Orbán’s oligarchs, and willingly do his bidding.
Boris Johnson, who is so quick to condemn Labour Party antisemitism, was quick off the mark to congratulate Orbán on his election victory.
Labour Briefing May 2018