Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s right-wing populist party is on track to win a parliamentary election on Sunday, handing a fourth consecutive term to the Kremlin-friendly leader.
With over 71 percent of votes counted, an alliance dominated by Orbán’s Fidesz party was projected to win 134 seats in Hungary’s 199-seat parliament.
Since beginning a second stint in power in 2010, Orbán has repeatedly clashed with EU institutions — which have accused him of undermining democracy and the rule of law — while developing a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The election campaign was deeply impacted by Russia’s war in Ukraine, with the prime minister casting himself as a guardian of stability.
But Orbán has been attacked by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for taking a softer line with Moscow than other EU leaders.
Orbán’s government has condemned Russia’s invasion and backed EU sanctions on Moscow — but it has opposed a ban on Russian energy imports and declined to bilaterally provide Kyiv with weapons.
Ahead of Sunday’s vote, experts warned that the electoral playing field was skewed in favor of the ruling party.