Tibor Fischer, author of How to Rule The World, has penned a compelling summary of Sunday’s election and captured the mood of not only the nation but the world.
In his piece written for the renowned The Telegraph, he starts off by saying that it’s funny how, according to most of the international media, when the opposition wins, Hungary is a democracy, but when Viktor Orbán wins, it isn’t.
Fidesz’s landslide victory on Sunday not only proves democracy is alive and kicking in Hungary but makes the prime minister the most successful Hungarian politician ever. “That’s not my opinion, that’s a fact,” Fischer said.
“He had his first term as prime minister in 1998 at the age of 35, and, since 2010, has won three successive terms. He has not just won them Theresa May-style or Angela Merkel-style with a few seats, but with a gob-smacking two-thirds majority. Quite a hat trick,” he added.
Fischer goes on to point out that there is a clear distinction between racism and managing migration, and this seems to be filtering through. “His party has Roma MPs. It has offered student scholarships to Syrians and Iraqis,” he said.
Fischer points out that the prime minister is neither xenophobic, anti-Semitic or far-Right. His government passed a Holocaust denial law, made Holocaust education compulsory and financed an Oscar-winning film about Auschwitz.
PM Orbán’s election campaign has been characterized as anti-migrant by the international media. “That’s misleading,” Fischer said. “His campaign was anti uncontrolled, illegal migration, and the EU dumping people who claim to be asylum seekers in Hungary. He believes a country should have some say in who enters its borders, a view, I suspect, many voters in Europe would agree with,” he added.
He goes on to write that there are two more factors to his success that the opposition and the Western media simply can’t accept. PM Orbán is popular. He is the only Hungarian politician to enjoy genuine, personal popularity.
“The other factor that I haven’t seen mentioned once is the economy,” he writes. “PM Orbán inherited an economy that was on its knees. He’s done a good job: low unemployment, steady growth. Voters go for that,” he added.
He adds that the Hungarian opposition will be bleating that the election wasn’t fair. It points out state television is subservient and over-reverential to the government. But most Hungarians get their news online, and the state channels were like that when the opposition party was in power. “If it is such a big fan of independent journalism, it should have done something when it was in office,” he writes.
Fischer concludes by saying that it is ironic that thanks to the opposition PM Orbán has become an international figure. “His re-election will infuriate many people, but then, democracy has many enemies,” he writes.
Read the full article here.