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PM Orbán Casts Vote, Voices Optimism

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.05.26.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán cast his ballot in the European parliamentary election at a polling station in Budapest’s western District 12 on Sunday morning.

The prime minister voiced hope that the election would strengthen “anti-migration forces” and that their political leaders would have a greater role in Europe in the next five years.

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“Both in terms of voter turnout and our chances I am more than optimistic,” Orbán said. The migrant crisis has greatly changed the world since the last election in 2014, which could be manifested in higher participation in the election, he said, and encouraged voters to contribute.

Orbán said the election would greatly impact domestic politics, too, and added that “I would like to see today’s election results as a point of reference for long years to come”.

Answering a question, Orbán said that Hungary rejects (illegal) migration and wants to see European leaders “working to stop rather than manage migration”. Migration could be stopped both at sea and on land, he said, but added that “many politicians, especially in western Europe, seek to convince people that it cannot be done”.

Issues around migration will lead to political restructuring in Europe, changing the roles of traditional party groupings, Orbán said. “A great question for the future is who will cooperate with whom,” he added.

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Concerning the relationship between ruling Fidesz and the European People’s Party, Orbán said his party “will see what influence it could have on future directions for the EPP”. Fidesz will not belong “where it does not have a say in major, strategic issues,” he said.

Answering a question concerning his earlier remarks recommending the Austrian model to Europe, Orbán said that “I have now switched over to the Italian model” because the Austrian model “has expired”.

Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI