Hungary PM Viktor Orban re-elected for third term

Hungary’s Eurosceptic Prime Minister Viktor Orban declared victory after near-complete results showed a crushing win for his rightwing coalition

Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban has claimed a landslide victory in Sunday's general election.

The 54-year-old will serve a third consecutive term in office, with his party Fidesz projected to keep its key two-thirds majority in parliament.

Orban said his “decisive” re-election victory and the super majority in parliament his right-wing populist party appeared to have won Sunday were “an opportunity to defend Hungary.”

“We created the opportunity for ourselves to defend Hungary,” Orban told a rapturous crowd after his landslide win became undisputable. “A great battle is behind us. We have achieved a decisive victory.”

Fidesz won almost half of the vote, with 93% of ballots counted, Hungary's National Election Office said.

Leaders of the second and third-placed parties have resigned in light of the result.

Orban is a strong Eurosceptic who campaigned on an anti-immigration platform. Critics said they feared he will use his third consecutive term and the Fidesz party’s two-thirds control of Hungary’s national legislature to intensify his attacks on migration and to strengthen his command of the country’s centralized power structure.

He first governed in 1998-2002 before returning to power in 2010 after two terms of scandal-filled Socialist rule. Fidesz won a two-thirds majority in 2010 and 2014, but lost it in by-elections in 2015.

During his campaign, Orban refused to speak to independent media or opposing parties. Instead, he mainly spoke to his supporters. He has previously refused to take part in the EU's refugee resettlement programme and has praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

"Migration is like rust that slowly but surely would consume Hungary," Mr Orban said at his final rally on Friday.

In 2015, Hungary built a fence along its borders with Serbia and Croatia to stop illegal migrants.

His administration has presided over strong economic growth, which he had argued would be threatened under the opposition.

While Orban’s win was undeniable, the exact size of his margin of victory was not clear early Monday due in part to Hungary’s complex electoral system, in which voters cast ballots for both an individual candidate in their region and another for a party list.

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