Hungary held parliamentary elections on Sunday. As expected, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s ruling Fidesz party won in a technical supermajority. But that is not to say the election was very fair. Orban has deployed a brand of illiberal democracy that has rearranged all branches of government to work in his favor. His inner circles are accused of using European Union funding for state capture and to build media monopolies.
Hungary has long been a major point of entry into the EU for many African and Middle Eastern migrants traveling up the Balkans. For years, Orban happily took EU funding to process the migrants, all while maintaining an anti-migrant platform. But as the flow of migrants has slowed, Orban has adopted xenophobic dog-whistles against some of the country’s biggest reformers.
In the run-up to the latest election, Orban singled out Budapest’s Central European University as a globalist anti-Hungarian conspiracy. The CEU was founded by George Soros, a liberal champion of the EU and a Jewish-Hungarian businessman. To discuss Orban and Hungary, we’re joined by R. Daniel Kelemen, professor of political science and European Union politics at Rutgers University.