Hungarian parties end poll campaign ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary elections

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Hungary’s ruling Fidesz-KDNP coalition and the six-party opposition alliance ended their election campaign ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary elections by holding two rallies respectively to maximise mobilisation in a close race.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban, 58, went to Szekesfehervar, 60 km west of Budapest, on Friday afternoon to urge his supporters to give a final effort, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We will have 13 hours on Sunday, 13 hours to assure that we have four years of peace and calm,” he said, referring to the 13 hours of voting on Sunday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“If we win here, in the center of Szekesfehervar, we can win in the whole country,” Orban added.

He said the election campaign had been disrupted by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and only one thing mattered now: to keep Hungary out of the conflict.

He accused the opposition of wanting to send soldiers and arms to Ukraine, and to support sanctions against Russia’s energy sector, which would be “disastrous” for the Hungarian economy.

The six-party opposition alliance, led by 49-year-old Peter Marki-Zay, the Mayor of Hodmezovasarhely, a city in southeast Hungary, held its event in the centre of Budapest on Saturday.

“After four years of hard work, I can tell you on the eve of the election: we stand here at the gates of victory!” Peter Marki-Zay told his supporters.

He spoke out against the government’s economic “failures” such as a record inflation, the devaluation of the local currency and the high level of public debt.

“We have every condition to win,” he said, and promised to introduce the euro in five years and to join the European prosecutor’s office.

Orban, who has been in power since 2012, is seeking a fourth term in the parliamentary elections.

On Sunday, Hungarians are also invited to take part in a referendum organised by the government on LGBTQ issues following the adoption of an anti-pedophile law in 2021 that was slammed as homophobic by foreign and internal critics alike.

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