Thousands rally in Hungary to demand new electoral system

Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters marched through the Hungarian capital of Budapest, demanding a new election and a new national electoral system in the biggest opposition rally in years.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban was re-elected for a fourth term last week. His right-wing populist Fidesz party won a super-majority in the national assembly, with preliminary results showing that Fidesz and tiny ally the Christian Democratic party won 134 seats in the 199-seat legislature.

Demonstrators dissatisfied with last week's general election result proceed towards the Parliament building on Andrassy Street from the Hungarian State Opera in downtown Budapest. Pic: Marton Monus/MTI via AP

Opposition supporters are upset that Hungary's electoral rules have given Mr Orban's party such a large majority in Parliament when it only won around 50% of the vote.

While the left-wing opposition parties won 12 of 18 seats at stake in Budapest districts, Fidesz won 85 of 88 seats outside the capital. The other 93 seats were allocated based on votes for party lists.

Protesters marched from the Opera to Parliament, shouting "New elections!" "We are the majority!"

The size of the crowd, overflowing from the city's Kossuth Square outside Parliament, rivalled the pro-government Peace March held on March 15. Organisers said another anti-government protest would be held next weekend.

"We want new and fair elections," opposition activist Gergely Gulyas told the huge crowd. "This is the responsibility of the government and we're going to remind them of this, peacefully and massively."

Mr Orban, whose campaign focused on the demonisation of migrants, has promised "significant changes" in his next government, which could push for a constitutional amendment against migration.

He claims that opposition parties want to turn Hungary into an "immigrant nation" with the help of the European Union, the United Nations and Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros.

Opposition members deny the claim.

PA


More in this Section

Bill Cosby denied bail while he appeals against sex assault conviction

Boulder smashes through bedroom wall amid rockfall in UK

UK sailor Susie Goodall back on dry land after ocean ordeal

Theresa May's Brexit deal 'dead in the water', says Jeremy Corbyn


Lifestyle

Lindsay Woods: At a time of year when the pace is frenzied and days are full of school plays and deadlines, the chance to break from routine is a welcome one

On the red carpet: Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger and Cheryl

Raise a glass to Christmas festivities

The best festive desserts to try out this Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner