Fidesz super majority in Hungarian parliament confirmed

By bne IntelliNews April 14, 2014

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The ruling Fidesz party has won a two-thirds majority in the Hungarian parliament after 99.99% of the votes have been counted, data published by the National Election Office (NVI) late on April 12 showed.

The Fidesz-KDNP coalition will hold a total of 133 seats in the new parliament. That hands it exactly the two-thirds of votes in the lower house needed to make constitutional changes. In the four years since it came to power, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government has made numerous revisions of the country's legal and rights framework, resulting in regular clashes with the EU. 

However, while it will retain a super majority as it enters its next term, it does so with a far slimmer margin than it currently enjoys. The loss of even a single seat would see it forced to work with other parties in order to push through changes to what is known in Hungary as "Fundamental" law.

The radical nationalist Jobbik would be the most likely candidate to be asked to help the right wing government. The super majority serves therefore to relieve some of the pressure on the government to push further into nationalist policy, having seen Jobbik eat into an important part of its support.

The opposition Socialists-Together-DK-PM-MLP alliance will hold 38 seats after the vote on April 6. Jobbik took 23 seats, and the liberal-green LMP will have 5 seats. The results are final, but not official and legally binding until April 25. The final count was delayed to allow the collection of absentee ballots, including votes from the diaspora - an electorate Fidesz has worked hard to dominate. 

The full results of the vote remain unofficial until all challenges have been investigated. Challenges will be accepted once the vote count is completed nationwide. Official results could be delayed until early May, but there's little if any chance of changes to the current standings.

One analyst claimed Fidesz has received validation for its controversial policy over the past four years, and that the repeated constitutional majority will increase its political legitimacy. Robert Laszlo at Political Capital added that the left will be an "ideally weak" opponent in parliament, reports MTI, but suggested the strengthening Jobbik could be a threat.

The governing parties have received a clear mandate from voters to continue the work started, Fidesz communications officer Mate Kocsis said. Echoing Orban's victory speech last week, the spokesman said the "people have said 'yes' to job creation, the strengthening of the economy, support for SMEs, social security, burden-reducing for families, energy price cuts and pension hikes. Voters have also said 'yes' to the new economic policy, the labour-based society and 'no' to hatred, extremities and exiting the European Union.

Voters had a "diverse choice, but a number of factors provided undue advantage to the ruling party," the OSCE election monitoring mission said of the April 6 vote, "These included the manner in which a number of changes to the legal framework were passed, restrictive campaign regulations, biased media coverage and the blurring of the separation between a ruling political party and the state."

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