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Orban heads for another victory in Hungary.

HUNGARIAN prime minister Viktor Orban was last night expected to win his third consecutive term - and fourth overall - in national elections.

Polls agree on the triumph of Mr Orban's right-wing nationalist Fidesz party and its allied Christian Democrats, but a splintered opposition and Hungary's complex electoral system make the margin of victory hard to predict.

In all, 199 seats in parliament are up for grabs. Opposition parties are keen to make sure Mr Orban's bloc does not sweep to a super-majority in which the autocratic leader could easily push through constitutional changes.

He has campaigned heavily on his unyielding anti-migration policies, although voters say they are more concerned with poverty, government corruption and the country's underfunded health care system.

Turnout was high - as much as nine points higher than the last election four years ago, which may favour the opposition.

"We are celebrating democracy and it seems like this feast will be beautiful because many of us are taking part," said Gergely Karacsony, the leading candidate of the left-wing Socialist and Dialogue parties.

Analysts, however, were more cautious about the significance of the turnout.

"It's for sure that a low turnout would only have favoured Fidesz" and its highly committed voters, said Gabor Gyori, a senior analyst at political research institute Policy Solutions.

"Opposition politicians are right to be the glad about high turnout, but it does not mean that anything has been decided."

CAPTION(S):

Dressed in Bukovina Szekler folk costumes, Janos Varga and his wife, Monika Vargane David leave a voting booth in a polling station in Kakasd, 100 miles south of Budapest, yesterday Tamas Soki

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EXHU
Date:Apr 9, 2018
Words:268
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