Li congratulates Hungary PM on election win

By CHEN WEIHUA in Brussels | China Daily | Updated: 2022-04-05 07:57
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Profound traditional friendship with China stressed in premier's message

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrives to address supporters after the announcement of the partial results of parliamentary election in Budapest, Hungary, April 3, 2022. PHOTO/AGENCIES

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday sent a message of congratulations to his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban on his Fidesz party's win in the parliamentary elections.

In the message, Li stressed that as China and Hungary enjoy a profound traditional friendship, their bilateral relations have maintained high-level development in recent years.

He said China is ready to work with Hungary to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges, further enhance mutual strategic trust, and deepen practical cooperation in all areas, so as to lift the China-Hungary comprehensive strategic partnership to higher levels.

Orban won his fourth consecutive term of four years in the country's parliamentary election after his ruling Fidesz party beat a six-party opposition coalition to secure two-thirds of the seats.

With almost all the votes counted, Orban's Fidesz-led coalition had won 53 percent of the votes against the 35 percent for the opposition alliance.

Voter turnout reached 68.69 percent, almost matching the record participation witnessed at the last national elections in 2018.

Orban declared victory on Sunday night after the election.

"We won a victory so big that you can see it from the moon, and you can certainly see it from Brussels," said the 68-year-old.

Orban has been at odds with Brussels for years over so-called rule of law and democracy issues. Earlier this year, the EU's top court allowed the EU to block funding to Hungary and Poland for "violating democratic rights".

"We will remember this victory until the end of our lives because we had to fight against a huge amount of opponents," Orban said in his victory speech.

Peter Marki-Zay, the 49-year-old candidate representing the opposition alliance United for Hungary, conceded defeat on Sunday.

Both sides have exploited the issue of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, while the opposition alliance attacked Orban for his close ties with Russia.

Hungary, a member of both the EU and NATO, has condemned Russia for the special military operation in Ukraine and endorsed the EU's economic sanctions on Russia, but it has opposed a ban on Russian energy imports and also refused to supply weapons to Ukraine, which borders Hungary.

Ding Chun, director of the Center for European Studies at Fudan University, attributed Orban's victory to keeping in line with the thinking of ordinary voters.

"It won't make Brussels feel comfortable because Orban is often regarded as a maverick," Ding said.

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