The Orbán Speeches

Prime Minister Orbán speaking at the Hungarian Parliament Building after taking his oath of office for the new parliamentary cycle beginning in 2014.

Prime Minister Orbán speaking inside the Hungarian Parliament Building on May 10,  2014.

On May 10, 2014, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán gave two speeches—the first in the Hungarian Parliament Building before the newly elected National Assembly after taking his oath of office as head of government for the new parliamentary cycle; and the second immediately afterwards outside the Hungarian Parliament Building before a large crowd of his supporters.

Prime Minister Orbán highlighted the following themes and messages in the speeches:

1) The message that Fidesz’s election victory in 2010 represented a “revolution” ending the two-decade “post-communist era” following the System Change in 1989-1990; 

2) The theme of National unity, particularly with regard to that between Hungarians living in Hungary and those living as minorities in neighboring countries;

3) The theme of Christianity and religion as a unifying force among Hungarians;

4) The message that Hungarians must support Fidesz in order to prevent the internal enemies who controlled “post-communist” Hungary from undermining the country and possibly returning to power;

5) The theme of fighting for national dignity and self-determination vis-á-vis the European Union, embodied in Fidesz’s 2014 European Parliament election slogan “Respect the Hungarians!” 

6) The message that criticism of the Fidesz-adopted electoral system, which gave the party another two-thirds majority in the National Assembly on just over 44 percent of the popular votes in the 2014 national election, is invalid; 

7) The message that the electorate’s reconfirmation of Fidesz’s two-thirds majority in the National Assembly in the 2014 general election represents a mandate to end debate surrounding the validity of the government’s policies and the Fidesz-adopted Fundamental Law

8) The theme of moving toward the political center and fighting extremism in implicit response to the strong showing of the radical-nationalist Jobbik party in the 2014 National Assembly election;  

9) The message that the term “extremism” can be defined very broadly to include such elements as “economic-policy proposals that lack common sense and reason” and “policy that aims to sacrifice the one-thousand-year-old Hungary on the altar of some kind of European United States”; 

10) The theme of anti-liberalism—the subordination of the individual to the collective in the form of the Hungarian nation; 

11) The message that post-revolution Ukraine must provide Hungarians living in the country with autonomy and collective rights; 

12) The message that Hungary’s population decrease must be reversed naturally, through emphasis on the traditional family. 

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán speaking to supporters outside the Hungarian Parliament Building after taking his oath of office for the new parliamentary cycle beginning in 2014.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán speaking outside the Hungarian Parliament Building on May 10, 2014.

Below are links to Orange Files translations of the speeches with the portions related to the themes and messages outlined above highlighted. These speeches provide a very accurate reflection of the spirit of the Fidesz system and its architect and unqualified master. These speeches will become increasingly interesting as Prime Minister Orbán transforms the ideas and messages expressed in them into concrete policy and action over the coming years and, perhaps, decades.   

Speech 1: to the National Assembly inside the Hungarian Parliament Building (source in Hungarian).

Speech 2:  to supporters outside the Hungarian Parliament Building (source in Hungarian).


Crunching the Election Numbers

Results in individual voting-districts outside Budapest: orange=Fidesz victory; red=Change of Government victory.

Results in individual voting districts located outside  Budapest: orange=Fidesz victory; red=Change of Government victory.

The FideszChristian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) alliance won another two-thirds majority in Hungary’s 2014 National Assembly election held on April 6. Fidesz-KDNP won 66.8 percent of the 199 seats in the National Assembly on 44.9 percent of the party-votes cast in the election.

Fidesz-KDNP won 68.1 percent of 386 seats in the National Assembly on 52.7 percent of the party-votes cast in the 2010 general election.

The Fidesz-KDNP super majority will enable the party alliance to enact or rewrite legislation and amend the constitution (called the Fundamental Law) without support from the opposition again during the 2014-2018 parliamentary cycle.

Voting data from the 2014 National Assembly election revealed the following trends compared to 2010 (source for detailed voting results in Hungarian):

Declining Voter Participation

Voter participation declined to 61.2 percent in 2014 from 64.2 percent in 2010.  A total of 4.8 million voters participated in 2014, down from 5.1 million voters in 2010. About 330,000 fewer voters participated in 2014 than in 2010.

Declining Number of Votes for Fidesz

The Fidesz-KDNP governing party-alliance got 44.9 percent of the party votes cast in 2014, down from 52.7 percent in 2010. The Fidesz-KDNP alliance got 2.1 million total party-votes in 2014, down from 2.7 million in 2014.  Fidesz-KDNP got 660,000 fewer party-votes in 2014 than in 2010. Fidesz got more party votes (2.3 million) in both the 2006 and 2002 elections, both of which it lost to the Hungarian Socialist Party.

Increasing Number of Votes for Jobbik

Jobbik officials on election night: why so glum?

Jobbik officials on election night: why so glum?

Radical-nationalist party Jobbik got 20.2 percent of the party votes cast in 2014, up from 16.7 percent in 2010. Jobbik got 985,000 total party-votes in 2014, up from 855,000 in 2010. Jobbik thus received 130,000 more party votes in 2014 than in 2010.

Increasing Number of Votes for the Democratic Opposition

Democratic-opposition parties in the socialist-liberal Change of Government [Kormányváltás] party-alliance and the green party Politics Can Be Different got 25.6 percent of the party votes cast in 2014, up from 24.2 percent in 2010. Democratic-opposition parties got 1.5 million party votes in 2014, up from 1.37 million in 2010. Democratic-opposition parties therefore received 125,000 more party votes in 2014 than in 2010.

Budapest voting-district results: orange = Fidesz victory; red = Change of Government victory.

Budapest voting-district results: orange = Fidesz victory; red = Change of Government victory.

Increasing Success of Democratic Opposition Candidates in Individual Voting Districts

Candidates from the Change of Government party alliance won in 10 of 106 individual voting-districts in Hungary in 2014: eight districts down the center of Budapest as well as one district in the city of Miskolc and one district in the city of Szeged. In 2012, the Hungarian Socialist Party (the main party in the Change of Government Alliance) won two of 210 individual electoral districts, both of them in the traditionally working-class Angyalföld [Angel Field] neighborhood in the northern part of the Pest side of Budapest.

Fidesz-KDNP won all of the other individual electoral-districts in Hungary in both 2014 and 2010.

Jobbik Failure in Individual Voting Districts?

Second-place finishers in individual voting-districts: brown=Jobbik; red=Change of Government; orange=Fidesz.

Second-place finishers in individual voting-districts: brown=Jobbik; red=Change of Government; orange=Fidesz.

Jobbik candidates failed to win elections in any individual electoral-districts. Jobbik President Gábor Vona came the closest, losing to the Fidesz-KDNP candidate in his home district in the city of Gyöngyös in northern Hungary by 650 votes (source in Hungarian). Other high-profile Jobbik candidates, such as Jobbik Vice-President Előd Novák, performed poorly in individual electoral-districts. (Novák finished in fourth place, behind the Politics Can Be Different candidate, in the second electoral-district of Budapest).  

However, Jobbik candidates took second place behind Fidesz-KDNP candidates in 41 of 106 individual electoral-districts in Hungary. Jobbik candidates took second place in 41 of 88 individual electoral-districts outside the city of Budapest (source in Hungarian).

Overwhelming Support of New Hungarian Minority Voters for Fidesz 

A total of  128,712 Hungarian citizens voted via mail in 2014. Most of these voters were Hungarians living as minorities in countries surrounding Hungary, who gained the right to vote in National Assembly elections via the Orbán government’s introduction of expedited procedures for members of such minorities to acquire Hungarian citizenship and elimination of the stipulation in the previous Election Law that citizens must live in Hungary in order to participate in elections.

A total of 95.5 percent of those who cast ballots via mail voted for Fidesz-KDNP (see source in Hungarian). 

The Communist Party: Still Small, but Gaining 

The Workers’ Party (Munkáspárt), the legal successor to the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party that ruled Hungary from 1956 until 1990, won 27,695 party votes in 2014, up from 5,606 votes in 2010. The Workers’ Party received 0.6 percent of all party votes, the fifth highest among all parties and the highest among all parties that qualified to participate in the elections, though failed to exceed the five-percent party-vote threshold required for representation in the National Assembly.

The Newly Founded “Business Parties” Likely Helped Fidesz  

Four more years.

Four more years.

Of the 14 small parties that took part in 2014 National Assembly election, only two—the Workers’ Party and the Party of Greens (Zöldek Pártja)—received more votes than the number of signed recommendation-slips they collected in order to qualify for participation in the election. These parties, many of which did not even exist at the beginning of the year, took advantage of the Orbán administration’s 2011 easing of the conditions that parties need to satisfy in order to participate in National Assembly elections—and gain access to a minimum of 150 million forints (about 500,000 euros) in government funding. 

These so-called “business parties” may have swayed voting results in favor of Fidesz-KDNP in three individual electoral-districts, particularly the 15th electoral district in Budapest in which the Fidesz-KDNP candidate defeated the Change of Government candidate by 22 votes, while the Together 2014 business-party candidate (not to be confused with former prime minister Gordon Bajnai’s Together 2014 party that was part of the Change of Government alliance) got 187 votes (source in Hungarian).

Fidesz Benefited Greatly from the Distribution of Fragmentary Votes for Winning Candidates to Party Lists 

The Orbán government’s 2011 National Assembly Election Law classified votes for victorious candidate in excess of those needed to win elections in individual electoral-districts as so-called “fragmentary votes” (töredékszavazat) added to votes for parties on the national party-list (in addition to those cast for losing candidates in individual electoral-districts as previously). The Fidesz-KDNP won six seats in the 2014 National Assembly election as a result of this change (source in Hungarian).


Recently concluded 2014 National Assembly election in Hungary proved that Fidesz has remained by far the most popular political party in the country. However, Fidesz received just 45 percent of the party vote in the 2014 general election, compared to 52.7 percent in 2010. Fidesz was able to maintain its two-thirds majority in the National Assembly in spite of the party’s sigificant decline in popularity as a result of the extension of voting rights to Hungarians living outside Hungary, the inclusion of more parties on the ballot and, most significantly, the distribution of fragmentary votes for winning candidates to party-list votes pursuant to the Election Law that Fidesz-KDNP representatives passed in 2011. Extremist parties such as the radical-nationalist Jobbik and, to a much lesser degree, the Workers’ Party gained the most from Fidesz’s loss in popularity, though democratic-opposition parties benefited somewhat as well. Fidesz will doubtlessly use its renewed two-thirds majority in the National Assembly to further skew the electoral system in the party’s favor before the next national election. However, these changes will not likely prevent Fidesz from losing a significant number of seats in the National Assembly in 2018 if the party’s popularity continues to decline over the next four years as it did over the past four years. In this event, Jobbik appears to be the party that is gaining the popular support necessary to assume the role of kingmaker. 


Early Report from the Front

Opening the polls in Budapest.

Opening the polls in Budapest.

The blueness of day has began to materialize on the streets of Budapest. The air is dank and dirty, the pavement wet from a light overnight rain. Soggy cartons, tattered food wrappers, empty bottles and cans, the fresh refuse of a Saturday night in the city. 

The polling station in the new Attila József High School has just opened. Orange Files steps in, finds the room for the voting district designated on the registration notice: the second voter in the district, he watches the first voter and spouse ceremonially check all three ballot boxes before election officials to ensure that they haven’t been pre-stuffed. 

The officials close the boxes and tie them shut with red, white and green ribbon. Hungary’s 2014 National Assembly elections have officially begun. 

Orange Files had always heard—and doubted—that many voters do not actually know whom they will vote for before they step into the voting booth. On this morning, he is living proof of this claim: all of the modern democratic parties have splintered into small factions struggling for survival or joined larger party-conglomerations that still harbor unseemly elements from Hungary’s authoritarian past (but at least not from its authoritarian present). 

Pull the curtains behind, lay two large ballots on the stand—a small one listing seven individual candidates from the voting district and a very large one listing the eighteen parties that have qualified for national party-list voting. 

Green? Red? Split ticket? National Gypsy Party just so you can say you did it? Go with the feeling, place the Xs in the Os and get out. 

On the way down the hall the little girl asks her parents: “Who did you vote for?” 

Orange Files National Assembly election update from the 25th subdistrict of the 2nd voting district of Budapest as of 6:15 a.m.: Politics Can Be Different (LMP) 1; Change of Government (Kormányváltás) 1; Fidesz 0, Jobbik 0; all others 0. 


Keep the Message Simple

The Orbán reelection campaign has been based on the principle that the key to effective political communication is to keep the message simple.

The Orbán campaign’s main election slogan: 

Only Fidesz!

(Csak a Fidesz!) (source in Hungarian).

Prime Minister Orbán explaining why “we need every single vote” during April 1 campaign speech:  

Big victory, big future; small victory, small future.

(Nagy győzelem nagy jövő, kis győzelem kis jövő.) (source in Hungarian).    

Prime Minister Orbán’s summary of the Fidesz election program on his personal Facebook site: 

[We will] Continue.

(Folytatjuk) (source in Hungarian).

The main Orbán reelection sign: 


(photo: Orange Files)


Not with a Whimper

Peace March participants just off the bus from Dunaharaszti.

Peace Marchers just off the bus from Dunaharaszti.

Bus after bus pulls up to the Lower Quay along the Danube River to let Peace Marchers off: they have come from the provinces, what they call in Hungarian “the country” (vidék), to show support for their beloved prime minister and quasi-messiah, the man who has guided them to the promised land of Hungarian national self-determination and self-respect; the great leader who has led them in battle against western banks ( i.e. the  IMF) and organizations (i.e. the EU) and their socialist-liberal accomplices in Hungary. “We love Orbán Viktor” reads the sign in the hands of a lady just off a bus from Dunaharaszti.

And they do love him—this is the essential difference between the Peace March demonstrations of the Orbán era and the May Day parades of the communist era: the hundreds of thousands of mostly rural Peace Marchers are voluntary and enthusiastic participants who pay for the bus transportation to Budapest out of their own pockets, while most of the May Day paraders were obligatory actors in a centrally orchestrated pageant of support for a system toward which most of them felt either indifference or aversion. 

The similarities between the Peace March processions and May Day parades are nonetheless striking: mass demonstrations of support for highly centralized, anti-democratic governments that face no threat whatsoever to their control over all aspects of the established political system.


Peace March organizer András Bencsik.

A beautiful, warm spring afternoon, the first short-sleeve day of the year. The text on the lead banner reads “The Country is One – April 6, 2014” in reference to next weekend’s national election that will likely provide Fidesz with another two-thirds super-majority in the National Assembly. Peace March organizers hold the banner in their established positions: Bayer; Fricz; Stefka, Széles, Csizmadia and Bencsik (see Peace March Demonstrations). Fluorescent-vested security personnel push ahead with a rope stretched across the street to keep photographers from impeding the progress of the march; snap after snap on the backpedal down Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Avenue, all of the banner holders make eye contact: Bencsik, the inveterate showman, waves, shows thumbs up and smiles mockingly for the camera, Bayer and his wife regard the photographer with suspicion, while “Bulldog” Széles presents the challenging face, blinking, nodding, powerful jawbone always on the move.

Long LIve Russian-Hungarian Friendship! Long Live Our Wise Leader Victor!

Long Live Russian-Hungarian Friendship! Long Live Our Wise Leader Viktor!

Pro-Fidesz and opposition sources will issue widely varying estimations regarding the number of participants: whatever the precise figure, it was again one hell of a lot, more than one-hundred thousand and maybe two- or three-hundred thousand. Who can keep count when there are so many? 

The signs are less hostile than at previous Peace Marches, mostly just Orange  ones reading”Fidesz”  and images of the Hungarian flag with the words “Vote” and “April 6.” A small group of counter-demonstrators wearing red Pioneer-movement neckerchiefs, the same ones who appeared at Prime Minister Viktor Orbán‘s March 15 speech (see Ides of March),  has set up a stage at the end of Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Avenue under a banner that reads “Long Live Russian-Hungarian Friendship! Long Live Our Wise Leader Viktor!” The comparison between the Fidesz and communist systems has clearly hit home: marchers hiss and grumble as they turn past stage on their way up Andrássy Avenue. 

The Peace March proceeds down Andrássy Avenue toward Heroes' Square.

The Peace March proceeds down Andrássy Avenue toward Heroes’ Square.

Amid the mass of mostly elderly voters from the provinces on Heroes’ Square, two of the most boring political speeches one can imagine, one from the French president of the European People’s Party and one from the president of the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians, before Prime Minister Orbán steps to the microphone to repeat the message he has honed so well over the years and which exercises such a mesmerizing effect on his supporters: revolution in the voting booth, eternal struggle against Hungary’s adversaries, national unity in a hostile world, continual fight against the treachery and corruption of the post-communists.

Unchanging messages that will sustain this overstrung system, a perfect reflection of its creator, until one day four years or eight years or ten years from now when it suddenly flies apart.  

See Orange Files photo gallery of Peace March.