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Viktor Orbán re-elected as Prime Minister

May 12th, 2018

As Parliament elects Viktor Orbán as Prime Minister, a pro-government columnist welcomes what he calls Viktor Orbán’s pragmatic vision. A left-wing commentator writes that although PM Orbán now prefers the formula ‘Christian democracy’ to ‘illiberalism’, his principles and aims remain unchanged.

On Thursday, the Hungarian Parliament elected Viktor Orbán as Prime Minister. In his acceptance speech, PM Orbán said he would serve the interests of 15 million Hungarians, in line with Christian values. PM Orbán identified the migration crisis, the weakening of national solidarity and demographic decline as the main challenges Hungary faces. He underscored that Hungary wants a strong union of European nation states rather than more centralized United States of Europe. He mentioned that Hungary is situated in the centre of the geopolitical triangle of Berlin, Moscow and Istanbul. He outlined his vision of making Hungary one of the fastest growing economies and most livable countriein Europe by 2030.

Magyar Idők’s Ottó Gajdics interprets PM Orbán’s speech as an indication that the Prime Minister will put Hungarian interests and Christian values first. The pro-government journalist suggests that the Prime Minister has underscored the importance of regional and European cooperation. Mr Orbán knows, he continues, that national sovereignty is strengthened by international cooperation and Hungary can only become successful in a Europe of peaceful and strong nation states. In light of all this, Gajdics thinks that PM Orbán can no longer be accused of provincialism and isolationism.

On 24.hu, Zsolt Kerner thinks that while the Prime Minister may have replaced his vision of illiberalism with that of Christian Democracy, his main political aims are unchanged. At the same time, he is flexible enough to switch terminology and abandon the broadly criticized idea of illiberalism in favour of the less divisive Christian democracy. But despite the discursive shift, PM Orbán still identified migration as the main challenge ahead of Hungary and Europe. The leftist  columnist reads the PM’s speech as proof that he wants to lead a balancing politicy between the EU, Russia and Turkey. As for Hungarian politics, Kerner suspects that PM Orbán has not forgiven the opposition for their attacks, and may soon start to take revenge.