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EP election campaign enters home stretch

May 20th, 2019

A liberal weekly and the weekend edition of the main dailies assess what is at stake at next week’s European Parliamentary election.

Magyar Nemzet’s Ferenc Kiss contends that the EP election is an existential issue for Europe. In the pro-government commentator’s view, only Christian-national parties can save European civilization from disintegration. Kiss recalls that according to polls, Fidesz is likely to secure a two-thirds victory next Sunday, while the opposition parties could not even recruit enough ballot counter delegates to attend all the more than 10,000 polling stations.

Népszava’s former editor-in-chief Péter Németh accuses Fidesz of using far-right rhetoric in the EP campaign. He quotes a recent survey by the Corporate Europe Observatory which describes far-right parties as using anti-immigrant, anti-minority and homophobic discourse in an effort to mobilise their voters. The left-wing commentator recalls that on Thursday, House Speaker László Kövér allegedly denied climate change and ‘demonized gays’. (The MTI public news agency reported that Mr Kövér downplayed the importance of global warming. László Kövér dismissed the allegations, noting that he was concerned about climate change and said exactly the opposite of what was attributed to him. In a separate statement, Mr Kövér opposed the adoption of children by same sex couples and said, in their case, just as in the case of pedophiles, children are used as a means of individual fulfilment.) In his concluding remark, Németh accuses Fidesz of having taken over most topics that once used to belong to the agenda of the then far-right Jobbik party.

In Heti Világgazdaság, Árpád W. Tóta calls on voters to support anti-Orbán candidates. The liberal commentator known for his tough language and fierce opinions labels Fidesz voters as ‘zombies’, who fall for PM Orbán’s lies and support the government’s corrupt and illiberal policies. In a passing remark, Tóta also lambasts PM Orbán’s critics in the EU. Tóta thinks that by focusing their campaign on Mr Orbán they make the Hungarian Prime Minister look more important and powerful than he is. Nonetheless, Tóta hopes that after securing a majority in the European Parliament, his centrist adversaries will use their power to defeat and weaken the Hungarian Prime Minister.

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