President János Áder has asked Viktor Orbán, incumbent prime minister and leader of the election-winning Fidesz party, to set up Hungary’s next government.
Orbán was nominated for the post by the Fidesz-KDNP party alliance.
Áder said the recent election was “the first of its kind for several aspects” among the nine democratic elections held since 1989. For the first time, two party alliances were competing and never has the number of national lists been so low, he said, adding that April 3 had seen the highest number of foreign observers and the fewest complaints had been received.
“The results of the election, and the decision voters made have been clear: the election was lawful, constitutional, free, and democratic,” the president said. “Legitimacy of the new parliament and the next government cannot be questioned,” he added.
Áder confirmed that Orbán had accepted his request and added he would make a formal proposal to parliament on Monday.
In a press statement made in the presence of the president, Orbán said “a decade of perils” is ahead of Hungary: “there is war and prices are rising in Europe, and signs of a serious energy crisis are showing”.
Orbán said “suffering” was lying ahead of Europe’s economies and added that the coronavirus pandemic was not over. On April 3, Hungarian voters “made a clear decision showing that they expect the country’s leaders to protect them against those difficulties”.
“We must stay out of the war [in Ukraine] and address challenges of an emerging European economic crisis in a way that Hungary can retain its achievements,” he said. He added that the incumbent government’s recent measures, such as extending caps on the prices of fuels and food, as well as rising pensions, had been designed to that end.
Orbán declined to disclose details about his preparations for the new government, but said negotiations were under way with ministerial candidates, adding that the selection of ministers was determined by “an understanding of the tasks for the next four years”.
He said his negotiations were aimed at finding candidates for the full four years because “life quickly changes and Hungary needs a government which can provide the best answers to topical challenges”.
Orbán said he had made a pledge to form a government whose members could “protect Hungary against the dangers of the next decade together as a body and individually”.
Featured photo by Vivien Cher Benko/PM’s Press Office