Hungarian political parties end election campaign ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary elections – Xinhua

Peter Marki-Zay, leader of the opposition alliance, addresses an election campaign in Budapest, Hungary, April 2, 2022. Hungary held parliamentary elections on Sunday. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)

BUDAPEST, April 2 (Xinhua) — Hungary’s ruling Fidesz-KDNP coalition and the opposition six-party alliance ended their election campaign ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary elections by holding two rallies respectively to maximize mobilization in a tight race.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban, 58, traveled to Szekesfehervar, 60 km west of Budapest, on Friday afternoon to urge his supporters to make a last ditch effort.

“We will have 1 p.m. Sunday, 1 p.m. to ensure that we have four years of peace and calm,” he said, referring to the 1 p.m. vote Sunday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“If we win here, in the center of Szekesfehervar, we can win all over the country,” Orban said.

He said the election campaign had been disrupted by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, and only one thing now mattered: keeping Hungary out of the conflict.

He accused the opposition of wanting to send soldiers and weapons to Ukraine, and of supporting sanctions against the Russian energy sector, which would be “catastrophic” for the Hungarian economy.

The six-party opposition alliance, led by Peter Marki-Zay, 49, mayor of Hodmezovasarhely, a town in southeastern Hungary, held its event in central Budapest on Saturday.

“After four years of hard work, I can tell you on the eve of the elections: we are here at the gates of victory!” Peter Marki-Zay told his followers.

He spoke out against the government’s economic “failures”, such as record inflation, the devaluation of the local currency and the high level of public debt.

“We have all the conditions to win,” he said, promising to introduce the euro in five years and join the European prosecutor’s office.

Orban, in power since 2012, is seeking a fourth term in the legislative elections.

On Sunday, Hungarians are also invited to take part in a government-organized referendum on LGBTQ issues following the passage of an anti-pedophile law last year that has been branded as homophobic by foreign and domestic critics.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban attends an election campaign in Szekesfehervar, 60 kilometers west of Budapest, Hungary, April 1, 2022. Hungary held parliamentary elections on Sunday. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban attends an election campaign in Szekesfehervar, 60 kilometers west of Budapest, Hungary, April 1, 2022. Hungary held parliamentary elections on Sunday. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)

Peter Marki-Zay, leader of the opposition alliance, addresses an election campaign in Budapest, Hungary, April 2, 2022. Hungary held parliamentary elections on Sunday. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)

Laura T. Thrasher