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Fidesz electoral victory taken for granted

February 13th, 2018

A left-wing commentator sees no obstacle that could thwart the government’s endeavour to build an ‘illiberal democracy’, but warns corrupt acolytes that they might fall victims to it. A conservative pundit, on the other hand predicts that negative campaigning against the government will prove self-defeating.

In a bitter column in Népszava, Miklós Hargitay takes up the case of a series of controversial street-light tenders as proof that the government  and the Prime Minister himself systematically guarantee the enrichment of his faithful allies, as representatives of what they see as a new ‘national bourgeoisie’. He depicts the Fidesz system of government as an ‘illiberal democracy’ in the making and warns those who are getting rich illegally that illiberal states ultimately punish the corrupt more severely than full-fledged democracies.

In Magyar Idők, Gábor Bencsik argues that negative campaigning by the Left will never undermine the popularity of the government. He believes that negative messages must at least be coupled with positive visions in order to inspire confidence – the main factor deciding the outcome of an election.  Another reason why the opposition fails to inspire confidence, Bencsik suggests, is the lack of even a single personality among its leaders whom people could trust to govern their country efficiently.  He believes therefore that the outcome of the April election is practically sealed. He warns the government, nonetheless, that it must then prove itself worthy of the trust the electorate is about to place in it.


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