The war has “raised the stakes” of the election “to the skies”, Orbán said, adding that it is in Hungary’s interest not to be a pawn in the chess game of great powers. In his speech on 15 March, the prime minister said that while Fidesz-KDNP represents the interests of the Hungarian people and wants peace, the “pro-war left” would jeopardize not only the gains of the past 12 years but the security of the country.
Although 15 March is one of Hungary’s national holidays, the prime minister’s speech focused on the upcoming elections. The majority of his audience were Fidesz supporters who had attended the Peace March right before. The message on the front of the prime minister’s podium read “Peace and Security,” probably the new slogan of Fidesz for the election. At the beginning of his speech, Viktor Orbán gave a special welcome to those from Transcarpathia, western Ukraine, where many ethnic Hungarians live.
PM Orbán: Opposition on the verge of collapse
Orbán then immediately began to talk about the April elections. The Prime Minister said that “the left” and the influential circles behind it — such as the media, Brussels bureaucrats and American-Hungarian billionaire George Soros — wanted to drag Hungary back into the “leftist nightmare”. But they are not afraid of them, because they have “fought well” in recent weeks, Orbán said, adding that thanks to this, Fidesz-KDNP’s support among the voters has continued to grow, and perhaps has never even been in such a good position 19 days prior to an election.
Orbán said their opponents were on the verge of falling apart; he called them amateurs and dilettantes. He likened the opposition alliance’s candidate for prime minister — the comet-like Christian conservative Péter Márki-Zay, whose victory in the primaries surprised many — to a cold lump of rock that had hit the ground. Orbán continued by likening Polish politician Donald Tusk, his former ally, the president of European People’s Party, who spoke at the opposition rally at the same time as Orbán’s speech, to a black cat who only brings trouble on people’s heads. Orbán said that Tusk has already been a disgrace in Poland, having destroyed his own party and then the European People’s Party.
Orbán then turned to the war in Ukraine, referring to the 12 points of 15 March. He said that Hungarians have always wanted peace, liberty and concord. But for that to happen, according to the Prime Minister, Hungary needs the strength to make these things a reality, not just wishes. Orbán said that peace is for the strong, while the weak can only hope the strong will be merciful towards them. “Peace, liberty and concord are the rewards of strong nations, which enjoy prosperity, self-confidence, security and a peaceful life.”
This is why Széchenyi, Kossuth, and Petőfi dreamed of a strong Hungary, and why he sees himself and his party as their heirs, Orbán said. The prime minister added that strength is not just a question of muscle: for example, you cannot kill a lion, but you can throw sand in its eyes. You can’t beat a bear in an arm wrestle, but you can put a cuff and a chain around its nose.
“Hungary shall not be a pawn”
Russia, according to the Prime Minister, is looking after Russian interests and Ukraine is looking after Ukrainian interests, and neither the United States nor Brussels will ever feel with a Hungarian heart. According to Orbán, Central Europe is a chessboard for the big powers, and it is in Hungary’s interest not to be a pawn in someone else’s war. No Hungarian should be caught between the Ukrainian anvil and the Russian sledgehammer, and Hungary must stay out of the war in Ukraine, Orbán said.
The prime minister accused the left of wanting to send soldiers and weapons to the front line, dragging Hungary into the war. The threat of war, Orbán said, raises the stakes of the election sky-high, people will have to choose between the pro-peace right and the pro-war left.
Orbán quoted the new head of state, Katalin Novák, who was elected a few days ago, as saying that women always want to win peace, not war, so if we want to end the war, we must listen to women. He believes that the moment was right for the first woman, Katalin Novák, to become President of Hungary.
Orbán praises Hungarian success
The Prime Minister also spoke at length about Hungary’s virtues: he said it is the most beautiful country and language in the world, the birthplace of the most talented people, great inventors who make vitamin C from paprika and vaccines against viruses, referring to Albert Szent-Györgyi and Katalin Karikó. Hungary is also a country of good-hearted people who help refugees. He said “everyone can see the difference between the frightened women fleeing from their neighbors and the migrants who come from thousands of kilometers to storm our borders.” According to PM Orbán, Hungary is helping refugees, but it continues to reject migration.
He then praised the government’s achievements: Orbán said that 200,000 more children were born than if the left had remained in government; a new national constitution has been adopted; it has been made easier for Hungarians living beyond the border to become dual citizens; the world’s biggest sporting events are being held in Budapest, the biggest cultural developments in the world are happening in Budapest, the borders have been closed to migrants; the government’s foreign policy is ambitious; and the country will have a powerful army and a world-class military.
Orbán on election: Let’s win the most important battle of our lives!
Referring to Fidesz’s previous main campaign theme, the so-called child protection law, he said they will win the referendum – held on the same day as the election – against the “gender madness”. “A father is a man, a mother is a woman, leave our children alone,” he said.
Just as he believes Fidesz-KDNP will win the election.
We have nineteen days of marching ahead of us and we will fight them at the end on April 3. Let us go and win the most important battle of our lives.”
In the featured photo, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán speaks at Kossuth Square during the commemoration of the 1848-49 revolution and war of independence. Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI