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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said he is ready to run for a fifth term as prime minister, though no personnel decisions had been made by the ruling Fidesz party concerning the 2022 elections. Commenting on recent remarks made about his age, he said youth in politics was less relevant than momentum and bravery. Looking at politics from this perspective, the youngest politicians in the world today, he added, were British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, asked about the possibility of “a new Christian democratic initiative” in connection with the European People’s Party, he said Fidesz was not interested in EPP in its current form, and a change was needed within the party family. “The EPP is shrinking and losing influence, positions and seats because it is heading in the wrong direction, a liberal, Socialist, centrist direction,” Orbán said. The question is whether Fidesz has enough influence within the EPP to force through or initiate a change, he added. If the EPP is unable to change direction, then a new Christian democratic initiative would be needed in European politics. It would be necessary, he added, to create a counterweight to the rise of French President Macron’s “left-wing movement”.
In response to another question, he said he agreed with those who noted that Fidesz had developed a more combative style in the past two years, but this, he added, had been part of a two-year election campaign. “The campaign is over and we must return to the earlier style of politics by, for instance, launching national consultations.” Orbán said the political campaign had been too long and people disliked long periods of confrontation. “I’m not happy with them either.” He said the government planned to hold at least two consultations in 2020.
In response to a question about personnel changes in the government, he said stability was a prime virtue and changes were not needed unless there was a very good reason for them. “But if corrections are needed, then they must be made.” Commenting on recent critical remarks by István Stumpf (a former constitutional court judge), Tibor Navracsics (a European commissioner) and János Lázár (a former head of the PM’s office), Orbán said he was biased towards all three as he considered them as friends. Orbán said he would always ask for and listen to Stumpf’s opinion and he counted on Navracsics’s work in the upcoming period. Lázár, he added, had a job to win back the town of Hódmezővásárhely.
Asked about the impact of the US-Iran conflict on Hungary’s energy policy as well as its diplomacy as part of the western alliance, the prime minister said the gap between the EU and the Israeli-American position on Iran should be narrowed. Orbán added that Hungary does not support the adoption of nuclear weapons by any country.