Turnout high in Hungary's election as Orban fights to retain power

Turnout high in Hungary's election as Orban fights to retain power

Turnout high in Hungary's election as Orban fights to retain power

Fidesz is seeking a third consecutive term in office and has won 49.15 percent of votes, with more than 64 percent of votes counted, according to the NVI, which said turnout had reached 68.80 percent.

The rightwing nationalist prime minister projected himself as a savior of Hungary's Christian culture against Muslim migration into Europe an image which resonated with millions of voters, especially in rural areas.

The right-wing opposition party JOBBIK is second with 20% of the vote so far.

During a bruising election campaign Mr Orban, 54, has stepped up his long-running attacks on the Hungarian-born Mr Soros, which have included media blitzes called xenophobic and anti-Semitic by critics.

Even if Prime Minister Orbans' Fidesz party does gain its expected majority, analysts remain uncertain on whether it will manage to achieve the two-thirds "supermajority" it had since the previous elections, which enabled it to pass some of its controversial bills.

The National Electoral Commission of Hungary announced a record turnout at the parliamentary elections.

Turnout will be a key factor in determining the result, with higher participation thought to benefit the opposition.

But as Chairman of the Party, Vona has gradually brought Jobbik into the mainstream in the hope of widening its political base. "The government serves the interest of the country, because we love our country and we are fighting for the future of our country".

A mainly first-past-the-post election system designed by Fidesz after it came to power gives it an advantage over the fragmented opposition parties.

At a final campaign rally Friday, he urged his voters to turn out in masses on electio day.

After casting his vote in a wealthy district of Budapest, he said he would stand up for Hungary's interests and said Hungary was a loyal member of worldwide organizations.

Voters will weigh Orban's popular anti-immigration stance and an economic upswing against an authoritarian tilt that's made him the black sheep of the European Union and a role model for anti-establishment parties from Italy to Poland.

The anti-immigrant campaign has gone down well with around two million core voters of Fidesz.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party is expected to win the majority of the 199 parliamentary seats, with Vona's Jobbik and a left-wing alliance of the Socialist Party and the Dialogue party led by Gergely Karacsony considered the leading challengers.

"Unfortunately, for those on the right who are disappointed with Orban, there is no democratic conservative alternative like Germany's CDU or a French Macron-type party", said Paul Lendvai, a journalist and author of "Orban: Hungary's Strongman".

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