Hungary's ruling Fidesz party will nominate Janos Ader for a second presidential term when his first expires next May. He has been a key backer of Orban's brand of quasi-autocratic democracy since being elected in 2012.
Ader - a longtime member of Fidesz - has been a strong ally of PM Viktor Orban since 2012, when Fidesz's parliamentary majority elected him president.
"The presidency of the Fidesz party agreed that Janos Ader should be the candidate for the next presidency," the Fidesz parliamentary party chief and deputy leader Lajos Kosa told Magyar Idok, a news outlet close to the right-wing government.
"It is a matter of consensus that Ader, whose mandate will expire next May, should be the candidate of Fidesz for the post," Kosa told the paper after a two-day session of the party.
Orban said last week that he "greatly appreciated" Ader’s efforts, and his continuing in the post was "among the important possibilities if he himself wishes to do so."
Fidesz - which has dominated Hungarian politics since its landslide victory in the 2010 parliamentary elections and victory in 2014 - has been widely criticized for undermining the independence of the media and judiciary and pandering to anti-immigrant sentiment.
Parliamentary parties can start nominating their candidates 90 days prior to the expiry of the incumbent president’s term, while the election itself will take place during parliament’s spring season.
Under the constitution, parliament is obliged to elect the next president 30-60 days before the incumbent president’s term is over. Ader has been in office as president since May 2012.
jbh/kl (Reuters, dpa)