A Hungarian NGO Seeks to Spoil Orbán’s Old Trick

An interview with Viktor Szalóki from TheVoice about their campaign to show voters are tired of bogus "public consultations" the government organises to mock Europe

18 January 2024

A Hungarian NGO AHang (TheVoice) has called on Hungarians to boycott PM Viktor Orbán’s latest public consultation by returning one million unfilled questionnaires that contain false government narratives about threats to Hungary from the European Union, which served Orbán to introduce a draconian “sovereignty protection law”.

Since 2010, Viktor Orbán’s government has held several national consultations with ordinary Hungarians. Although portrayed as a genuine effort to hear the people on important issues, these consultations are built around false government narratives and serve its electoral purposes only.

The most notorious ones were about the migrant crisis in 2015, the “Stop Brussels” and “Stop Soros” campaigns in 2017, with the latter attacking civil society.

Propaganda fatigue

In November 2023, Orbán launched the latest consultation accompanying the introduction of “sovereignty protection laws”, which critics say will intimidate dissent to his rule and make the already downtrodden opposition’s life harder ahead of the twin local and European elections in June.

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Luca Soltesz

Luca is from Hungary, but has lived in Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands before returning to her home country. She just finished Political Science in Amsterdam, where her thesis focused on party politics and party funding. She is interested in regional politics, and is writing about Hungary and the Western Balkans at Visegrad Insight.

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