Szcsefevar, Hungary (AFP) – Hungary’s nationalist prime minister on Friday portrayed his country’s upcoming elections as an existential turning point and a choice between war and peace as he made a final plea to voters at an election rally in a rural stronghold.
Viktor Orban, who is seeking a fourth consecutive term as head of the Hungarian government, campaigned on a promise that if re-elected in Hungary. Sunday parliamentary electionsIt would protect the country’s peace and security and preserve Russia’s energy imports as war raged in neighboring Ukraine.
Orbán’s right-wing Fidesz party faces what polls suggest will be the closest election in more than a decade.
On Friday, Orbán told hundreds of his supporters in the central Hungarian city of Szekesfevrevár: “This is not our war, we have to stay out of it. We can stay out by not sending soldiers or weapons, not allowing arms shipments to pass through the territory of Hungary, because then we will become a military target.” Immediately “.
Hungary, alone among Ukraine’s neighbors in the European Union, refused to supply arms to Ukraine and blocked its transit across the Hungarian-Ukrainian border, arguing that doing so would drag the country into conflict.
While Orban has condemned Russia’s war against Ukraine, he has been careful not to blame the conflict on Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom he has built close ties since taking office in 2010. He has also fought hard against sanctions on Russia’s fossil fuels, on which Hungary relies heavily. . Orban noted last week that 85% of Hungarian gas and more than 60% of its oil comes from Russia.
At the rally in Szekesfeervár, Urban repeated the phrase baseless claim That a coalition of six parties uniting to run against him on Sunday had struck a secret deal with the Ukrainian government, and that his opponents would cut off Russian oil and gas if elected — which the coalition denied.
The opposition coalition, United for Hungary, coordinated its candidates in each of Hungary’s 106 constituencies, and nominated independent conservative Peter Marky Zay to face Orbán as its candidate for prime minister.
Opposition parties, which previously campaigned with a promise to do away with what they called endemic corruption and democratic backsliding under Orban, have called on voters to punish the authoritarian prime minister for his close ties to Putin. The war in Ukraine has sent hundreds Thousands of refugees flee to Hungary Searching for safety.
The opposition portrayed Sunday’s election as a referendum on whether Hungary should belong to the League of Western Democracies or return to its historical past as a repressive autocracy dominated by Russia.
For his part, Orban painted a bleak picture Friday of the dire economic repercussions that could occur if Hungary’s relations with Russia were severed.
“If we impose sanctions on energy imports and shut down the pipelines, not only will Hungary be colder, the temperature will not drop by a degree or two, but the country will be shut down,” he said. to close factories and many people – including you – will lose their jobs.”
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