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Elections

OSCE: Hungary’s ruling Fidesz victory because of 'undue advantage'

With 99 percent of votes counted, Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party has held on to its two-thirds majority in parliament. The OSCE has pointed to laws passed by the incumbent premier as the reason behind the win.

Hungarians re-elect right

While final results in Hungary's elections weren't to be announced until next weekend, the consensus on Monday was that incumbent Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his right-wing Fidesz party had secured themselves another term in power. Based on 99 percent of votes counted, Fidesz had garnered 44.5 percent of the vote and 133 of 199 seats in parliament, meaning it had retained its two-thirds majority rule.

The center-left coalition led by Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) came in second with 26 percent of the vote. The Jobbik party followed in third with 20.5 percent, rising strongly from 16.7 percent in 2010 elections.

OSCE concern

Monday's results stemmed from a "well administered" election, the Organization for Security and Cooperation said. However, it cited concerns about the influence of laws passed by Orban during his last term which hindered other parties from competing against his overwhelming majority.

Voters had a "diverse choice [on Sunday], but a number of factors provided undue advantage to the ruling party," the OSCE election monitoring mission said.

"These included the manner in which a number of changes to the legal framework were passed, restrictive campaign regulations, biased media coverage and the blurring of the separation between a ruling political party and the state."

'Voters said yes'

Prime Minister Orban appeared to ignore the criticism, instead saying Hungarian voters had validated his government's previous work.

"Voters said yes to our new legal system, including our new constitution, to a new economic model based on work, and to a government led by a popular European party," Orban said.

Germany called on Orban and Fidesz to exercise their political power "with a sense of proportion, restraint and sensitivity," Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesperson Steffen Seibert told reporters at a news conference in Berlin on Monday.

Orban has been criticized, both domestically and externally, for a raft of changes made to the country's institutions and constitution. Among them was a reduction of the parliament to its currents size from a much larger chamber of 386.

The European Union has also been critical of Orban's government on repeated occasions, with new laws introduced that were seen as detrimental to the freedom of the media and the independence of the judiciary.

kms/dr (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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