Prime Minister Viktor Orban has accused Brussels and Washington of wanting to interfere in Hungarian politics in the run-up to parliamentary elections next April.
Orban told tens of thousands of his supporters at a rally in central Budapest on Saturday that Washington and billionaire George Soros were trying to elect the leftist opposition using their money, media and networks.
It is not about what they want in Brussels and Washington and in the media that is controlled from abroad. Orban said that it is the Hungarians who decide their fate.
“Our strength lies in our unity… We believe in the same values: family, nation and strong and independent Hungary.”
But unity is also what his opponents are counting on to oust him after a decade in power. For the first time, Orbán will face a united front of opposition parties, including socialists, liberals, the former far-right and now the center-right Jobbik.
The Six-Party Alliance is led by Peter Markey Gee, a 49-year-old conservative Catholic, father of seven and small-town mayor who seems to embody the traditional values that Urban publicly champions.
Opinion polls show Orban’s Fidesz party and the opposition coalition are on the right track, with about a quarter of voters undecided.
Saturday’s commemoration of the 1956 uprising against the Soviet government gave Orban a symbolic platform for his agenda as his party Fidesz ramps up its election campaign.
He showered voters with benefits, including a $2 billion tax credit for families, and ramped up his powerful anti-immigration rhetoric.
Hungary has sided with Poland against the EU on media freedoms, rule of law issues and LGBT rights, while emphasizing that it has no intention of leaving the bloc.
“Brussels equals dictatorship,” Orban told his supporters, who hoisted the national flag and carried placards with slogans such as “Brussels equals dictatorship.”
Mark Zee, speaking at a separate opposition rally, said that if elected, his government would draft a new constitution, fight corruption, implement the euro and ensure media freedom.
“This system has become morally unacceptable,” he said. “The momentum we have now should take us to April 2022.”
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