Elections in Hungary – illiberal democracy on the rise


In the latest episode of our VIPAC podcast, we turn our attention to the Hungarian elections held on April 3, 2022, which ended with a clear victory for Viktor Orban’s ruling Fidesz party. Together with independent journalist Lukács Csaba, we analyze the consequences of this election for Hungary and its relationship with Russia, the European Union and the Visegrad countries.

The control over the media and the resulting propaganda machine are as much a part of the explanation of the great electoral success as the Hungarian electoral system. The rural population is largely behind Orban, while the urban population supports the opposition. Due to the low level of independent control of the election process, electoral fraud is very likely.

Many Hungarians view change critically because, for the most part, they lost in the process in a historic perspective. The father figure Orban propagates stability and regularly has the attitude of the people checked via surveys in order to adapt to it or to counteract it in time via the media. The caps on energy prices, which are of course tax-funded, are very popular with Hungarians.

With regard to Russia, Orban is trying a double game: on the one hand, he is going along with the European Union’s sanctions; on the other hand, he has maintained a close relationship with Vladimir Putin for years, which has led to great tensions within the Visegrad countries.

The increase in the influence of populists worldwide, the connection between voting behavior and education level, the difficulties for independent media in Hungary, Hungary’s relations with China, the situation of Ukrainian refugees and the relations between Hungarian and Austrian citizens are also topics of this interview.

Image rights:  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Viktor_Orb%C3%A1n_(40462383173).jpg


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Elections in Hungary – illiberal democracy on the rise-YOUTUBE Wolfgang Müller CC BY SA 4.0