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Anti-government protest in Budapest

April 17th, 2018

A left-wing commentator thinks that Saturday’s rally showed the determination of opposition voters to stand up to Fidesz. A pro-government columnist finds opposition calls for a new election absurd.

On Sunday, tens of thousands of protesters demanded new elections, the recounting of the April 8 votes and ‘free media’ at an anti-government rally in Budapest. The demonstration was organised by non-party people, but attended by luminaries and supporters of both the Left and Jobbik. The government alleged that the rally was financed by Soros funded NGOs.

Népszava’s Judit Kósa reads the Sunday rally as proof that people discontented with Fidesz are angry and want to overcome the shock of the April 8 election result. The left-wing columnist urges the opposition to start drawing up a strategy for the next election as soon as possible. She claims, however, that it is close to impossible to defeat Fidesz under the current electoral rules. As a result, opponents of Fidesz do not yet have a clue how to defeat the current government.

Magyar Idők’s editor-in-chief Ottó Gajdics finds absurd the demand voiced by demonstrators’ demand to hold a new election, just one week after such a decisive Fidesz victory. The pro-government commentator thinks that Saturday’s protest was attended by ‘anti-Semitic and anti-Roma extremists’ as well as ‘left-wing radicals serving foreign interests’. These groups, Gajdics believes, are united only  by their hatred of Prime Minister Orbán. Gajdics goes on to accuse protesters of not respecting basic democratic norms by questioning the result of the April 8 election. In conclusion, he calls on the government to reach out to those protesters who can be involved in nation-building – and, at the same time, ‘get rid of’ those who do not want to accept a ‘national minimum’. Most importantly, Gajdics proposes, ‘Soros should be banned from Europe’.

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