Soli Deo Gloria – Glory to God alone. This is how Prime Minister Viktor Orbán ended his speech after his inauguration at the Parliament on Saturday. Orbán was re-elected as prime minister with 130
affirmative votes against 57 negative votes.
The opposition parties Jobbik, Együtt-PM and the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) all voted against his re-election, and the MSZP members left the proceedings after casting their votes, while former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s party was not present at all.
Among others, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev sent his congratulations to Orbán via an open letter, writing that Orbán is known as the main supporter of the reinforcement of the connection between Russia and Hungary.
After his inauguration, Orbán gave a speech that was widely regarded in the media as one of his best, with some even claiming it was his best in the past twenty-five years. This is quite a feat as Orbán is well-known as an incredible orator even among his most vicious enemies.
He thanked those who made possible Fidesz’s second consecutive victory with their votes. His words showed a marked switch in his political worldview, and for the listeners it was hard not to agree when he talked about linking freedom and responsibility, achieving individuality within the borders of Europe, and establishing an even-handed, responsible order in the country.
Orbán underlined that he will not forget he has special responsibilities towards Fidesz’s supporters to keep their trust, but he assured everyone that although his party got the anticipated two-thirds majority in Parliament, the new government will serve the whole country, “three-thirds”, as he put it.
He described the election as an event “worthy of a thousand-year-old country, worthy of a democratic country”. He emphasised that the prime minister and government must serve “the whole country, the whole nation and every citizen, regardless of who they were voting for on 6 April”.
Orbán highlighted another important factor, namely that this was the first time when Hungarians outside the country borders could vote in a Hungarian election and these votes had supported Fidesz by an overwhelming majority.
The prime minister stressed that the new government will dismiss any extremist politics that can be dangerous to Hungarian citizens and that “prioritises the criminal’s rights above the victim’s”. He underlined that we are a member of the European Union, not one of its hostages, and therefore we need to have a voice that can and needs to be heard. Hungary’s European politics would be described with “clear vision, openness and brave thinking”.
A Fidesz government can’t solve everything though: Orbán admitted that he is not so young any more to know the answer to everything, but the new government will try its very best to serve every single Hungarian citizen’s best interest.
Having spent 24 years in Parliament, eight of them as prime minister, he understood Winston Churchill’s famous quote that “Politics is more dangerous than war, for in war you are only killed once”. Orbán also expressed that it is a fact people are living in the world of globalisation, therefore the nation needs to find the balance between being just and being competitive if it wants to be a successful European country.
The previous four years had been a road that was “neither easy, nor comfortable”, where the party had to overcome strong opponents, public debt, financial dictates and a state budget that was torn apart, not to mention the banks, bureaucrats and monopolistic firms that made this journey even harder. He emphasised that this journey had been taken not only by the government but by the whole country, and this is the main reason why this re-election is so important – the people had chosen to get to the end of this road.
Orbán spoke of religion’s importance because it can be looked at as a possible form of renewal.
After the inauguration, KDNP leader Zsolt Semjén described the event as “unique” in his speech to the mass meeting at Kossuth tér. He stressed that without the fraternal loyalty, solidarity and friendship that was present among voters, this government could not have been formed. He envisioned that four years from now, the number of Hungarian votes outside the border will rise to a million.
József Szájer, the leader of Fidesz’s European Parliament list, congratulated Orbán for this achievement and called it a “historic moment” because never before had the same prime minister been elected three times since the regime change.
“Victory is great but loss is never useless,” Orbán said in reference to his years in opposition. These years of dedication had helped Fidesz to return to governing once again. He projected a worthy future for the country. It was time for actions to speak. “The very first thing for a new government to do is to form their thoughts into words, and to form these words into actions.”
A case of ‘we shall continue’ for opposition too
Opposition MPs voted “no” to the re-election of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and all except lawmakers of the radical nationalist Jobbik party left the chamber after the vote on Saturday.
Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) leader Attila Mesterházy said the MSZP does not wish to participate in a Parliament acting as a smokescreen for party politics.
Péter Kónya, a senior official of the E-PM party alliance, said Orbán had not published any platform in his election campaign other than “we shall continue”. He said E-PM calls on Orbán to immediately suspend talks on the Paks nuclear plant upgrade, because the contract with Russia will make Hungary dependent on a country that is “at war” in a neighbouring country.
The Democratic Coalition said it will work in the coming four years towards ousting the “regime”. Orbán had talked about optimism and ambitions to become a middle power, but Hungary is “under the authority of corrupt mediocrity and undiscriminating servility”, the party added.
Radical nationalist Jobbik said Orbán’s speech lacked any concrete social or economic manifesto. Party leader Gábor Vona asked Orbán to go along with Jobbik’s political programme of providing a decent living, public order and taking those responsible to account.