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Hungarians vote in local elections which may loosen the government's grip on power

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Hungarians vote in local elections which may loosen the government's grip on power
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REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo
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Hungarians are voting in local elections which may challenge the dominance of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's dominant right-wing Fidesz party.

The release of a scandalous video which shows one of the party's best-known mayors, Zsolt Borkai, participating in a sex and drugs party on a yacht have shaken up the last days of the campaign.

Orban's Fidesz party has been easily winning local, national and European Parliament elections since 2010 but the opposition is now more unified.

Orban's campaign is no different from his longstanding rhetoric which plays on Hungarians' fears of immigration.

Last week he wrote on Facebook: "We are deciding whether we want pro-immigration or anti-immigration leaders for Hungarian counties, cities, and villages."

Hungary is suffering from depopulation and a severe labour shortage which could be alleviated by immigration. Publicly Orban has said that immigration is not the answer to either problem.

But last month The Wall Street Journal reported that the government is in fact quietly recruiting skilled immigrants.

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