Viktor Orbán announces retribution against opponents after April elections

The political opponents of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and segments of civil society can expect political and legal retribution from the ruling Fidesz party after 8 April, provided that the regime wins the national elections, as is currently predicted by pollsters. Mr. Orbán spoke on the anniversary of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution and used his speech to indicate that there are only two types of people in Hungary: those who vote for Fidesz and are thus patriotic Hungarians and those who are internationalist traitors:

“On one side stand we, the millions of patriots and on the other side stand the international elites. On the one side are forces of the nation and democracy. On the other side are the supranational and antidemocratic forces”…

Journalists, especially from Index, noted that the dichotomy (I would even go further and say the Manichean allegory) for which Mr. Orbán is famous was put on display in starker terms than before. When speaking about “them,” Mr. Orbán referred repeatedly to “Soros candidates,” declaring in no uncertain terms that all non-Fidesz candidates, from Jobbik to the Democratic Coalition, were lackeys of George Soros. He painted the very diverse Hungarian opposition in a truly sinister light.

Mr. Orbán emphasized: “We need to prepare for the reality that against our candidate will run a single Soros candidate everywhere.” Mr. Orbán was referring to attempts by opposition parties to find the single strongest candidate in each electoral district and field only him/her against the Fidesz candidate. And indeed, Ferenc Gyurcsány of the Democratic Opposition announced on Thursday that he is prepared to negotiate directly with Jobbik, in order to coordinate candidates in the ridings.

Viktor Orbán speaks on 15 March 2018 in Budapest, in front of Parliament.

Although the prospect of formal cooperation with Jobbik is problematic for many (including for the author of this piece), Mr. Orbán effectively put everyone not associated with Fidesz on notice: if he wins on 8th April, retribution of a kind not seen before will begin against all who opposed his rule.

Mr. Orbán declared:

“We will seek moral, legal and political recourse after the elections.”

This was the most ominous line in Mr. Orbán’s speech–a far more serious line than when quipped that “we will send Uncle Gyuri and his network home…Please, we ask that you go home and entertain the Americans.”

And finally, Mr. Orbán returned to the theme that has been a hallmark of Fidesz since his surprise defeat in the 2002 elections: only Fidesz supporters are true Hungarians. He said, in what proved to be a  furious speech:

“He who is Hungarian stands with us. We will win again and again, because Hungary belongs to Hungarians.”

That last line must be familiar to many of our readers: it was Jobbik’s election slogan in 2010.


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