Orban blasts Ukraine president Zelensky as he celebrates heavy election win

Orban blasts Ukraine president Zelensky as he celebrates heavy election win

In a blow for Europe’s liberals, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has won another parliamentary term with a heavy victory in Sunday’s general election. 

The 58-year-old Putin ally took a swipe at Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, the international media and European bureaucrats in his victory speech, calling them “opponents” he had to defeat.

Orban’s Fidesz coalition appears to have won 53 per cent of the votes with the six-party opposition United for Hungary, led by Peter Marki-Zay, securing little more than 34 per cent, according to the National Election Office.

“This was a huge victory,” Orban said on Sunday night. “They can see it from the moon but certainly from Brussels as well. We will remember this victory until the end of our lives because we had to fight against a huge amount of opponents.”

“This isn’t our war, we have to stay out of it,” he added. 

Orban is the only European Union leader to criticise Zelensky and has stifled attempts to form a united front against Russia.

Since taking office in 2010, Orban has rewritten the constitution, replaced judges with his appointees, altered constituency boundaries and changed the electoral system.

Most state and private media groups in Hungary have been taken over by Orban allies. “There’s been an orgy of disinformation over Ukraine,” political commentator Peter Kreko told the BBC. Many Hungarians believe the war was triggered by Ukraine, he added.

Zelensky criticised Orban over his alleged lack of support for Ukraine and refusal to allow armaments to be cross the border. 

On Saturday the democratic icon said: “He is virtually the only one in Europe to openly support Mr Putin.”

Zelensky told the European Union last month: “Lithuania stands for us. Latvia stands for us. Estonia stands for us. Poland stands for us. France – Emmanuel [Macron], I really believe that you will stand for us. Hungary…I want to stop here and be honest. Once and for all. You have to decide for yourself who you are with. Listen Viktor, do you know what’s going on in Mariupol?” in reference to the coastal city which has been flattened by the Russian bombardments.

Hungary has taken in more than 500,000 refugees from Ukraine.

Orban condemned the Russian invasion and has not vetoed EU sanctions against Putin. But he says sanctioning Russian energy imports would cripple Hungary’s economy.

 

Orban and Putin have been close allies for years. Picture credit: Wikimedia 

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