Hungary will hold its 2022 elections for parliament today and a referendum on a recent anti-LGBTQ law. 199 MPs will
Hungary will hold its 2022 elections for parliament today and a referendum on a recent anti-LGBTQ law.
199 MPs will be elected through nationwide and single-mandate constituencies as Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his right-wing populist-nationalist Fidesz party seek a fourth term. Hoping to unseat Fidesz is the United for Hungary coalition, a motley alliance of opposition parties ranging from the far-right to the greens. Conservative independent Péter Márki-Zay won an October opposition primary to lead the coalition.
Orban’s conservative bend–and the authoritarian tendencies he uses to execute it–climaxed with his July 2021 legislation banning the use of school materials described as promoting homosexuality and gender change. The law prompted legal action by the European Commission and Orban’s referendum gauging the law’s support as well as Hungarians’ views on LGBTQ policies including gender reassignment.
Today’s election will decide whether Hungary’s democratic backsliding halts. Expect Orban to win–polls give him a narrow lead over United for Hungary. Further, expect supportive returns in the referendum as Orban’s socially conservative policies continue playing well with Hungarians. Yet, Orban’s victory will further isolate Hungary internationally, as it diverges from the EU’s democratic values and Orban’s previous pro-Russian views play poorly following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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