Center-right Fidesz secures two-thirds majority in Hungarian elections | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 25.04.2010
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Center-right Fidesz secures two-thirds majority in Hungarian elections

Hungary's center-right Fidesz party has won a two-thirds parliamentary majority in the second round of national elections, giving the new government sweeping powers to push through reforms and boost growth.

Viktor Orban, Hungarian prime minister-elect

Orban's Fidesz party has vowed to fight corruption and create jobs

The party of former Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the center-right Fidesz, has pledged to build a "new system" after winning an unprecedented two-thirds majority in the second round of national elections, according to preliminary data from the National Election Office.

"We have been able to bring about great change through democratic means that previously we could have only done with a revolution," Orban told a jubilant crowd in the capital Budapest.

With nearly all votes counted, Fidesz is set to fill 263 of 386 seats in parliament. Holding a two-thirds majority means Orban can form the first non-coalition government in post-communist history, enabling Fidesz to fast-track reforms and structural changes.

"New system"

Orban's call for a new system is an allusion to the fall of communism in the country 20 years ago. The subsequent change to democracy is known as the "change of system."

Supporters of Fidesz, Hungary's center-right Fidesz party react to the preliminary official results in Budapest

Fidesz regularly attracts large crowds

The prime minister-elect told supporters that Fidesz will rebuild a country "ruined by oligarchs abusing their power."

Orban, who was prime minister from 1998 to 2002, is a former liberal anti-communist dissident with a strong anti-globalization stance.

Fidesz will have to move swiftly on implementing reforms. The most pressing issue is the country's finances. A new deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will have to be negotiated, which is likely to require substantial fiscal, labor market, education and health reforms to convince the IMF that Hungary can become more competitive.

In 2008, the IMF had saved Hungary from the brink of bankruptcy with a billion dollar bailout package.

Fidesz has pledged to cut taxes to attract foreign investment and create a million jobs in ten years. The party also wants to curb corruption and reduce the size of parliament to make it more efficient.

IMF logo

Hungary was bailed out by the IMF in 2008

Swing to the right

Hungary's swing to the right was further underscored by the Jobbik party's first entry into parliament with 47 seats, making it the third-largest force in parliament. The far-right party is known for its anti-Roma, anti-Semitic and anti-EU stance. The new left-wing green LMP party took 16 seats.

Socialist leader Ildiko Lendvai, whose party has been in government for the last eight years, has handed in her resignation after her party won just 59 seats, according to preliminary data.

Fidesz had won an outright majority in the first round of the elections on April 11 by winning 206 of 386 seats.

ng/Reuters/dpa/AFP
Editor: Nigel Tandy

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