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Hungary PM Orban wins new term

Hungary elections: High voter turnout as polls close

FOR the third consecutive election, Viktor Orban's illiberal Fidesz party has won firm control of the Hungarian Parliament.

Fidesz won a two-thirds majority in 2010 and 2014, but later lost it in by-elections in 2015.

"If the dam bursts, if the borders are opened, if immigrants set foot in Hungary, there will be no going back", Orban said during his campaign-closing rally on Friday.

The proposed legislation, dubbed Stop Soros by the government before the elections, is part of Orban's campaign targeting U.S.

But the "Stop Soros" package promises to go much further, aping similar laws in Russian Federation, slapping taxes on foreign-funded non-governmental organisations that "support" illegal immigration.

One non-governmental organisation described the prospect of the bill as "terrifyingly serious".

"We will continue together on this path", Orban said in his victory speech.

Soros has rejected the government campaign against him as "distortions and lies" meant to create a false external enemy.

"The defining feature of Orban's career has been a zeal to defend Hungary's sovereignty against foreign encroachment", said Hendrik Hansen, a political scientist at Andrassy University in Budapest.

Orban said on Tuesday that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had phoned him to wish him well.

He repeated his theory of a conspiracy between the opposition and the United Nations, the European Union and wealthy philanthropist Soros to turn Hungary into an "immigrant country", threatening its security and Christian identity.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Orban, pledging that her country will be a "reliable partner" for Budapest, despite differences, her spokesman said.

"It is quite obvious that there are also controversial issues in our cooperation, the different stances in migration policy come to mind", spokesman Steffen Seibert added.

Far-right parties such as Le Pen's National Front, the AfD, Poland's ruling Law and Justice party and Italy's League, among many others, seek to emulate Orban.

Orban won his fourth term overall on a platform that openly demonizes migrants to Europe.

Viktor Orban, Hungary's prime minister, third right, and Zsolt Semjen, Hungary's deputy prime minister, sing at the Fidesz party headquarters following results for the parliamentary elections in Budapest, Hungary, on Monday, April 9, 2018.

National right-wing Jobbik was the 2nd most popular party, with 26 projected seats in Parliament. The block is two-thirds of parliamentary seats (133). "This is terrifyingly serious".

But, greetings from Europe's far-right leaders poured in for Orban soon after his election victory.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Hungary's closest ally in the European Union, tweeted: "The road to reform is never easy", adding that "the support of the majority of society shows that it's worth making the effort".

"The path to reform is never easy", Polish Premier Mateusz Morawiecki, who has spoken of his dream to "re-Christianize" the European Union, said on Twitter.

Observers say a divide within the EU will progress if Orban further criticizes the EU, and if rightist and anti-foreign moves gather strength in central or eastern European countries.

"Fidesz effectively mobilised in the last days on the countryside, the opposition seriously underperformed, far below its expectations", Daniel Hegedus, research adviser at the Freedom House thinktank, told AFP.

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