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Polls close as Hungary's Euroskeptic leader Orban seeks fourth term

Polls closed across Hungary on Sunday for a general election that is expected to return Prime Minister Viktor Orban a...

Posted: Apr 9, 2018 9:50 AM
Updated: Apr 9, 2018 9:50 AM

Polls closed across Hungary on Sunday for a general election that is expected to return Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his party to power for another term.

Orban is wary of the European Union and has transformed Fidesz from a liberal party formed in the 1980s to a right-wing populist outfit, which has campaigned this election on an anti-immigration platform.

Orban is already Hungary's longest-serving leader since the fall of communism in 1989. Fidesz, in a coalition with the much smaller Christian Democratic People's Party, has held a two-thirds supermajority in parliament for the past eight years, allowing it to change the constitution without a referendum.

The coalition has passed a rash of laws that European Union leaders have warned will undermine the country's democracy. Those laws tighten regulations on the media, central bank, constitutional court and nongovernmental organizations.

Migration a hot-button issue

Orban has accused the EU of overreach in his country's affairs, particularly in its attempt to impose a quota system that would have obliged Hungary to settle refugees.

Despite having the third-lowest level of immigration of the EU's 28 countries, Hungary has planted anti-immigration billboards across the country.

Polls showed Fidesz far ahead of the main opposition far-right party Jobbik, which has in recent years sought to moderate its policies and image to differentiate itself from Fidesz as it moved to the right.

One of Jobbik's leaders, Marton Gyongyosi, told CNN that while Hungary must work with the EU to solve the migrant crisis, his party was still against migration and preferred to focus on policies to keep would-be migrants in their home countries.

Gyongyosi infamously called for the government to keep lists of the Jewish Hungarians considered a security risk, as anti-Semitism in the country appears to be on the rise. He later apologized for the comments.

Orban's spokesman, Zoltan Kovacs, also told CNN that besides migration of other EU citizens -- which Hungary is obliged to accommodate -- Fidesz was opposed to other migrants, including refugees. He singled out Muslim migrants as problematic.

"We have been living next to Islam for hundreds of years, since the Middle Ages until the 19th century, and we've learned a lesson from that," he said.

"The lesson is, it's impossible to integrate a different culture, not because it's inferior or superior, but simply because the rules are different."

With little chance of defeating Fidesz, some opposition parties have united to improve their chances of ousting the ruling party from certain seats.

Leader of the fringe party Momentum, Andras Fekete-Gyor, said he had pulled out of the race in his central Budapest constituency to give another candidate a better chance of winning, in what he said was heavily gerrymandered city.

"There is a suffocating atmosphere in Hungary. The media is state controlled and reports propaganda -- it's functioning like in communist times. The government is using fear, fear of migrants for example, to get votes," Fekete-Gyor said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 248189

Reported Deaths: 5411
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
Madison8071160
Jones6166108
Forrest5870117
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Lamar475363
Washington4734122
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Panola360475
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Union337457
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Lincoln293385
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Tate266659
Alcorn260651
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Pike258176
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Tippah236246
Simpson232367
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Coahoma223154
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George197438
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Holmes167867
Jasper165134
Clay156732
Stone140218
Tallahatchie138234
Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
Yalobusha113834
Walthall111136
Noxubee109622
Greene108929
Montgomery108134
Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
Perry99131
Amite96425
Webster90624
Claiborne85125
Tunica84521
Jefferson Davis83825
Humphreys81524
Benton80323
Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
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Houston8474129
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Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
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Coffee434256
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Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
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Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
Barbour171236
Butler167958
Fayette166026
Cherokee159630
Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
Lamar116619
Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
Conecuh92920
Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
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