The Latest: Poland welcomes victory of anti-migrant Orban

April 9, 2018

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses his supporters in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, April 8, 2018. Preliminary results show populist Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has easily won a third consecutive term and his Fidesz party has regained its super majority in the parliamentary election. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The Latest on the decisive electoral victory of Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his right-wing Fidesz party (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

Polish officials are welcoming the overwhelming electoral victory of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, with one official in Warsaw calling it a confirmation of Central Europe’s “emancipation policy.”

Both the governments of Poland and Hungary share similar nationalist visions that involve keeping out migrants and handing over fewer powers to the European Union.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wished Orban success on Monday. He wrote on Twitter that the “path of reform is never easy” but that “the support of the majority of society shows it is worth making this effort.”

Meanwhile, Konrad Szymanski, who is the deputy foreign minister and a special envoy to the EU, said the victory of Orban and his Fidesz party confirm the “emancipation policy” of the region.


11:45 a.m.

Capitalizing on its sweeping election victory, Hungary’s governing Fidesz party says it could push through the so-called “Stop Soros” laws targeting civic groups and people aiding refugees already in May.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban, elected Sunday to his third consecutive term, based his campaign on demonizing migrants, saying that wealthy philanthropist George Soros, the European Union and the United Nations are conspiring to turn Hungary into an “immigrant country.”

Fidesz parliamentary spokesman Janos Halasz said Monday that the “Stop Soros” package could be among the first legislative measures approved by the new Fidesz super-majority in parliament.

Orban has repeatedly described civic groups supported by Soros, and in general any non-governmental group he disagrees with, as foreign agents working against Hungarian interests.

Among the stipulations of the new law, refugee advocates would need government permission for their activities and would pay a tax on their donations from abroad.


10:55 a.m.

Germany’s conservative interior minister is welcoming Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s “very clear election victory” and warning the European Union against showing arrogance.

Horst Seehofer said he would congratulate Orban on behalf of his Christian Social Union party. As Bavaria’s governor until last month, Seehofer sparred with Chancellor Angela Merkel over her migration policy and invited Orban to gatherings of his party.

German news agency dpa reported that Seehofer warned the EU against a “policy of arrogance and paternalism” and said bilateral ties with EU countries are always important even when there are differences.

He said in Munich that “nothing is stronger confirmation than success at the ballot box.”

Seehofer’s and Merkel’s parties are members of the center-right European People’s Party group in the European Parliament, along with Orban’s Fidesz.


10:45 a.m.

Luxembourg’s foreign minister says Germany, France and others should weigh in against what he calls a “tumor” of scaremongering after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban won a clear election victory.

Orban won re-election after campaigning on a platform that openly demonized migrants to Europe.

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn was quoted Monday as telling German daily Die Welt: “Today it is Hungary and Poland, tomorrow others in eastern and central Europe, even a big founding country of the EU, could develop a taste for undermining values and scaremongering.”

He added that after the Hungarian election “it is up to Germany and France, along with all member states that aren’t counting on indifference, to weigh in unambiguously on the basis of the European treaties to neutralize this tumor of values.”


1 a.m.

Hungary’s right-wing Fidesz party won a landslide victory in a parliamentary election on Sunday, giving Prime Minister Viktor Orban a strengthened hand in his battles against the European Union and civic rights groups at home.

Fidesz and its small ally, the Christian Democrat party, won a two-thirds majority, which is enough to make changes to the constitution.

Orban late Sunday celebrated what he called a “decisive victory.”

The right-wing nationalist Jobbik party placed second with 26 seats, while a Socialist-led, left-wing coalition came in third with 20 seats.

Update hourly