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Take Hungarian election result with a pinch of salt, expert warns

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By James Thomas
Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers a speech during the final electoral rally of his Fidesz party ahead of Sunday's election
Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers a speech during the final electoral rally of his Fidesz party ahead of Sunday's election   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Petr David Josek   -  

The result of Hungary’s upcoming parliamentary elections won’t fully represent the will of the people because “it’s not a real democracy”, a political scientist has warned.

Speaking to Euronews via Twitter about Sunday’s vote, Péter Krekó, executive director at Political Capital, said that he hopes that the world puts the result into context - whatever the outcome may be.

“Hungary is not a liberal democracy anymore, it’s a soft hybrid regime, but it’s not a real democracy,” he said.

Various public institutions in Hungary, such as the prosecutor’s office and the electoral commission, are not independent and impartial, according to Kréko, which is turning Hungary into a country in which it’s becoming increasingly obvious that state institutions are “helping the incumbent.”

“So if you see on Sunday, and this is the most likely scenario at the moment, that [Prime Minister Viktor] Orbán wins one more election, then do not just attribute it to the decision of the Hungarian voters, that they all like this politics,” Krekó said.

You can listen to the full Twitter Space by opening the tweet below.

The election is shaping up to be highly significant as Europe is gripped by the crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine - one of Hungary’s neighbours. A six-party coalition, headed by Péter Márki-Zay, has come together to try and oust Viktor Orbán, who is seeking a fifth term in office. A victory on Sunday would also see Orbán net his fourth consecutive term.

Polls currently predict that the prime minister will scrape a majority, and Krekó told Euronews that while it won’t be impossible for Márki-Zay to win the election, the odds are stacked against him.

“I do think that the Hungarian opposition has missed some opportunities to challenge the government,” he said. “But at the same time, it is really difficult to make an electoral success against such a more and more efficient party state structure which we can see in Hungary.”