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POLITICAL ANALYSTS ASSESS HUNGARIAN POLITICAL LANDSCAPE POST-EP ELECTION

 

It is important for the European People’s Party that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has the wherewithal to connect with the new right and underscore the EPP’s right-wing identity, according to an analyst who was among participants of a conference organised by the Századvég Foundation.

Ágoston Sámuel Mráz, chief executive of the Nézőpont Group, said the reason why participation in the European Parliament election was so high in Hungary was that this was the first occasion since the migration crisis for Hungarian voters to have a direct say in European affairs.

Commenting on Hungary’s opposition, he said internecine conflict would continue and Ferenc Gyurcsány, the former prime minister who leads the leftist Democratic Coalition (DK) party, would try to bring the ailing Socialists into his fold, though it was not clear that the Socialists would have to acquiesce.

Tamás Lánczi, head of the 21st Century Institute, said that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s strategy of occupying the centre ground was now put in doubt by the ability of the opposition to forge an alliance. Matteo Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister and who is also the interior minister, in a video message to the conference thanked Hungarians for backing Fidesz in the EP election. He said common work to protect the border, Europe’s culture and identity would continue in Brussels.