Gergely Gulyás. Photo: MTI.

Fidesz to boycott Hungarian parliament’s special debate on immigration

As our readers will know, the government of Viktor Orbán quietly accepted the European Union’s migrant quota and provided refugee status to 1,294 people in 2017, despite all the apoplectic rhetoric and anti-migrant national consultations to the contrary. Jobbik, the Hungarian Socialist Party and the Politics Can Be Different party united to collect the requisite number of signatures within opposition […]

by · January 29, 2018 · Politics
Ferenc Gyurcsány focuses election campaign on populist themes

Ferenc Gyurcsány focuses election campaign on populist themes

Former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition party is contesting national elections on 8th April with a handful of populist themes that will likely mobilize his base and perhaps attract some traditional opposition voters disillusioned with the socialists. Based on a speech he gave on Saturday at a Budapest hotel, and on the narrative of his campaign to date, three […]

by · January 27, 2018 · Politics
Hungary’s NY Consul Kumin fear mongering – “Terror returned to New York”

Hungary’s NY Consul Kumin fear mongering – “Terror returned to New York”

On December 31 on the Budapest ATV channel Ferenc Kumin, Hungary’s Consul General in New York did not mince words. He warned fellow Hungarians that they should think twice before traveling to the US, especially to New York City. They might consider staying home in safe Hungary where there are no migrants. “Terror returned to New York” – he thundered. […]

by · January 26, 2018 · Politics
Grzegorz Ekiert

Is authoritarian Hungary on the road to dictatorship?

According to Grzegorz Ekiert, the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Government at Harvard University, Hungary is not a democracy any more; yet he wouldn’t call it a dictatorship either. He says that it is best described as an authoritarian state…possibly on the road to dictatorship. On January 18 Prof. Ekiert gave a standing-room-only lecture entitled, Communism to Authoritarianism via Democracy: […]

by · January 24, 2018 · Politics
Migrants in Budapest. MTI / Szilárd Koszticsák

Hungary’s liberal, inclusive and multicultural refugee strategy

The Orbán government does not appear keen on publicizing what it has done over the years to accept and integrate migrants and refugees, nor has Fidesz shared with the public its strategy, developed in 2013 and submitted to the European Union, that aimed to make Hungarians more tolerant of diversity. According to the government’s Migration Strategy completed in October 2013, […]

by · January 22, 2018 · Politics
David Cornstein

White House leak? According to the Orbán government David Cornstein is the new US Ambassador

There was no announcement in Washington DC, nothing from the White House nor from the State Department; no news of an ambassadorial appointment. Yet, Budapest based pro-government Hungarian daily Magyar Idők has announced that President Donald Trump will send businessman David Cornstein to Budapest as the next US Ambassador. According to the paper they received this information from well-connected Hungarian […]

by · January 20, 2018 · Politics
Freedom House: Hungary is the least democratic country in the EU

Freedom House: Hungary is the least democratic country in the EU

A Freedom House report, out this week, categorizes Hungary as the least democratic member state of the European Union. The American conservative think tank, which has been critical of Viktor Orbán’s rule before, argues that democracy faces its most serious challenge in decades and is in crisis in many parts of the world. “Its basic tenets—including guarantees of free and […]

by · January 16, 2018 · Politics
Gergely Karácsony, as the joint MSZP-Párbeszéd candidate for prime minister. Photo: MTI.

The state of the Hungarian opposition ahead of the April elections

On Monday we learned that Gábor Fodor’s Hungarian Liberal Party will support the Hungarian Socialist Party and Párbeszéd in elections to be held 8 April 2018. While it is highly unlikely that the tiny Liberal Party’s logo would appear on the ballot alongside those of MSZP and Párbeszéd (doing so would require the joint list to pass a 15% threshold […]

by · January 15, 2018 · Politics
László Domokos, former Fidesz politician, currently president of ÁSZ.

The Hungarian State Audit Office’s assault on democracy

Perhaps nothing sums up the state of the rule of law in Hungary better than the Hungarian State Audit Office’s (ÁSZ) selective enforcement of regulation aimed at penalizing opposition parties (and likely driving one of them into bankruptcy), whilst dismissing the same rules when it comes to the ruling Fidesz party. The head of the State Audit Office is none […]

by · January 9, 2018 · Politics
Gergely Karácsony in the Spinóza theatre. Photo: MTI.

Gergely Karácsony — Without an absolute majority, the Orbán regime will collapse immediately

Gergely Karácsony, the Hungarian Socialist Party’s candidate for prime minister answered questions at Budapest’s venerable Spinóza Ház, a generally liberal-minded club, theatre and coffee house which has welcomed politicians from across the spectrum to sit down with journalist Katalin Rangos. Mr. Karácsony answered questions on a broad range of topics ahead of the April 2018 national elections, but none elicited […]

by · January 8, 2018 · Politics