PM Viktor Orban, East Europe’s right-wing icon, wins Hungary elections again
East Europe saw yet another right-wing icon strengthening his position as Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban won his third consecutive term in office in elections held on Sunday, April 8. He has also served as the PM of Hungary between 1998 and 2002.
The 54-year-old leader - Hungary's longest-serving premier - has made a significant departure from his liberal stance to become a strong opponent to immigration. He has brought sweeping reforms in the country in the past few years that have earned him ill names and positioned him at odds with the European Union.
Orban's latest mandate would also make it interesting to see how his ultra-right government progresses hereafter on George Soros, the American-Hungarian billionaire who has spent millions in the European country's educational and civil society sectors. It was Soros's foundation's humane take on the refugees that put it in a confrontation with the Orban regime.
"US treated me like black sheep"
Orban also did not have a good relationship with the former Barack Obama administration in the US and even alleged while speaking to current US President Donald Trump that he was treated like a "black sheep", he said in an interview. Orban also described Trump as an open man who did not have an ideological confinement.
Orban, whose Fidesz Party won an overwhelming mandate in the latest elections, is seen as a populist by the opposition who used his mandate to strengthen the grip on the power and target the platforms that criticise his government's policies.
Orban was written off by many when he lost the second consecutive elections to the socialists in 2006 but he proved his critics wrong by winning two consecutive elections in 2010 and 2014 to position himself as a powerful leader of the East European nation.
One of Orban's most defining characteristics is his passion to safeguard Hungary's sovereignty against any kind of "foreign encroachment" and that has helped him overrule any possible challenges growing against him - even within his Fidesz Party. This is after all, an age of the populist nationalists across the globe.