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Thousands protest in Hungary against Viktor Orbán's government

Péter Magyar
Péter Magyar Copyright Euronews
Copyright Euronews
By Euronews with AP
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Some media estimated about 100,000 participants, making it one of the two largest opposition political demonstrations in recent years.

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Tens of thousands of Hungarians demonstrated Saturday against Viktor Orbán 's government at the invitation of the prime minister's new challenger, Péter Magyar. The crowd packed Budapest's main square. 

Péter Magyar, 43, belonged to the ruling party's elite circle; he was the husband of former Justice Minister Judit Varga. But two months ago he defected and has been shaking up the Hungarian political landscape ever since.

Magyar wants to overthrow Orbán's system

His goal now is to overthrow the system of Viktor Orbán, in power since 2010. Addressing the protesters, Péter Magyar accused the country's media and prosecutor's office of lacking true independence, hurled accusations of government corruption, and said he would launch a party to participate in next June's European elections.

"We Hungarians unite," he chanted to the crowd, calling on Hungarians on the right, left and liberals to respect each other and work together to replace the current political elite. Péter Magyar also harshly criticized the traditional opposition parties for failing to wage a fierce battle against the ruling party over the past 14 years.

Thousands flocked to Budapest to protest against Orbán

"Péter Magyar kept his promise," explains Euronews correspondent Zoltán Siposhegyi, "Not only Budapest's main square, but also the narrow streets around it were packed with people. What was extraordinary was that not a single opposition flag or poster could be seen. In fact, the speakers harshly criticised not only the Fidesz government (Orbán's party, ed.), but also the entire opposition elite."

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