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Two thirds majority for Fidesz confirmed

April 15th, 2014

The count of votes sent by mail from around the world confirmed on Saturday that the Fidesz-KDNP alliance will retain its two thirds majority in Parliament. A left-wing analysis takes it for granted that the Prime Minister will not refrain from making full use of his overwhelming power in the new National Assembly, while a right-wing analyst suggests that the victors should show moderation.

In its front page editorial, Népszabadság suggests that there are both up and downsides to the election result. On the positive side, the constitutional majority thinks that Fidesz can now adjust the  pivotal laws it passed so hastily during the last Parliamentary cycle on their own, without having to ask for the ad hoc support of the far right Jobbik, to reach the necessary two thirds of the vote. “For we would not enjoy the price they should pay for such favours”.  As for the downside, Népszabadság suspects that Fidesz will use its two thirds in Parliament whenever the need arises, for instance to amend the electoral rules further in its own favour. “It would be futile to hope that PM Orbán will somehow restrain himself from rearranging the furniture”, Népszabadság writes. The Prime Minister is a man, the authors add, who has an irresistible propensity “to restructure and fight”. “A moderate Orbán would be like a vegetarian wolf”, the left-wing daily concludes.

In Magyar Nemzet, Matild Torkos remarks that the overwhelming support for Fidesz among transborder Hungarians (with over 95 per cent of the 125 thousand valid votes cast) was “an answer to the shameful attitude of the Left” at a failed referendum on dual citizenship for ethnic Hungarians living in neighbouring countries in December 2004. It is also a recognition, she suggests, of what Fidesz has done to heal those wounds; namely, by easing the conditions of granting citizenship to transborder Hungarians and giving all citizens the right to vote. She also considers the overall election result as proof that the population “rejects easy populism and extremism” and appreciates the policies pursued by the government. However, she remarks, the two thirds majority in Parliament is a result of the new electoral law, which should prompt the government side to be more receptive to opposition opinions, act as if it only had a simple majority, and seek opposition consensus whenever pivotal laws are on the agenda. “A negotiated settlement is always more valuable than a solution forcibly imposed”, Torkos suggests.

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