Will Orbán Win the Hungarian Elections by Cosying up to Putin’s Russia?

Election in the shadow of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

1 March 2022

Michał Zabłocki

Climate and Democracy Editor

In this Monthly Foresight, the Hungarian election campaign is going into full gear as Slovak polarisation freezes in light of Russia’s invasion. The war also brings to the forefront the question of European Energy security.

The outcome of the probably most important vote in the European Union in 2022 will decide on the future of Viktor Orbán’s leadership, the fate of illiberal democracies in Europe and the direction of Central-Eastern Europe (CEE). The Ukraine-Russia war and the East-West divide are becoming the main Hungarian campaigning topic.

Strong ties between Orbán’s regime and Putin’s Russia, which for a long time were promoted by the Hungarian ruling party as an asset or as a bridge between the East and the West — in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine became a burden. Both the Fidesz and the Hungarian state media seemed like they were not prepared for the Russian attack on Ukraine, now they lack credible reports on the ongoing war just across the border and they repeated Russian propaganda. 

Hungarian Election

In the Hungarian general election, 12 political parties compete for 199 parliamentary seats. However two main political blocks fight for the majority of the votes: Orbán-led coalition Fidesz–KDNP (Fidesz — Hungarian Civic Alliance and Christian Democratic People’s Party) against the united opposition block.

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Michał Zabłocki

Climate and Democracy Editor

Michal is Climate and Democracy Editor and former Marcin Król Fellow at Visegrad Insight. He’s an active Freelance journalist, and climate activist as well as a communications and policy consultant, too. In the past, he was a foreign correspondent for the Polish Press Agency in Moscow, Prague and Bratislava, Newsroom Editor and a long-standing Staff Writer at PAP Foreign Desk, PAP English language newswire Market Insider and PAP Domestic Desk, where he covered climate and environment. He mainly focuses on politics, economy, climate and energy in Poland and Central Eastern Europe. He's also the author of a non-fiction book "To nie jest raj. Szkice o współczesnych Czechach" ("It's not paradise. Essays on contemporary Czechia"), published in 2019 in Poland and 2020 in Czech Republic.

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