Hungarian PM Orban re-elected as ruling party leader

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FILE PHOTO: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses a business conference in Budapest, Hungary, June 9, 2021. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo/File Photo

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been re-elected president of the ruling Fidesz party with an overwhelming majority here on Sunday.

Orban was re-elected as the only candidate for a period of two years during a congress of Fidesz, to lead the party in next spring’s general elections.

“If we continue to govern, we could be among the most developed countries in ten years. Today, Hungary is still an emerging country, and we can only move forward if we work more precisely and raise smarter children than ourselves,” said the prime minister.

“We still have problems to solve: there are not enough children, salaries and pensions are not high enough, there are still poor people, still not everyone has a home,” Orban listed challenges ahead of the elections.

Orban underlined that the most important thing was security, to be able to defend what his government has achieved: “We need to defend our results from migrants, who are standing in lines at the Polish border, or who come from the sea, but also from the pandemic, in order to save lives.”

Orban also spoke about the urgent need to have more people vaccinated.

He also lashed out at the “international network led by Brussels, who wants to make families pay for the cost of climate control.”

Orban criticized the opposition, whom he accused of secretly supporting the COVID-19 anti-vaxxers, and who chose Brussels instead of Hungary.

The Hungarian leader also spoke about the rise of the East, especially China, in the global economy: “The weight of the world shifted to the East. Fifteen years ago, 85 percent of total investment came from the West, today, 70 percent came from the East.”

Finally, he said the whole European political right had to be re-organized, a task that he vowed to do along with his Polish ally Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

Orban has been president of Fidesz since 2003, and was its president from 1993 to 2000 as well.

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