Fidesz party congress reelects Viktor Orbán as party chair

November 13, 2017

Viktor Orbán at Fidesz’s 27th party congress on November 12, 2017 |
Photo: MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák

Fidesz held its 27th party congress Sunday at the Budapest Congress Center, where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was reelected as chairman of his party. From behind a lectern proclaiming “Let us protect Hungary!”, Orbán gave a speech to the more than 1,000 party members present in which he praised his party’s achievements since 2010 and gave predictions for the upcoming Hungarian election and broader political trends in Europe.

The prime minister spoke of the displacement of “global elites” and the defeat of the west by “those who are struggling to keep themselves above water.” Orbán said that those who cling to their cultural identities and demand safety and order in their societies are “in the decisive majority”, and that the “spirit of the age” is with “hardworking, patriotic Christians.”

Orbán said Fidesz is ready for the election that is set for next April, and criticized the opposition as untrustworthy and unable to govern. He referred to the “collapse” of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), and called radical-right party Jobbik a “kitten party” (cicapárt) which had unsuccessfully attempted to reform and moderate itself.

“There is not the mood for a change in government but rather for a change in opposition in Hungary today,” Orbán said.

He complained of cultural changes which he attributes to the “global elite”, saying that “what was once true stays true.” He said countries disagree on whether there are stable “moral truths”, and the only way for Europe to solve this disunity is by accepting one another’s opinions.

“The situation was so simple for so long, a person was a woman or a man. Now they want to force us into the kind of world where these natural contours are missing. There are no certain points in this world,” Orbán complained, attributing the creation of such a world to global elites.

A bowl of scorpions

Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén (Christian Democratic People’s Party, KDNP) also took aim at the opposition, saying the Fidesz-KDNP coalition is a “values-based, proven fraternal alliance” while the opposition is “like a bowl of scorpions.” Semjén proudly announced that one million new Hungarian citizenships had been granted since Fidesz retook power in 2010.

Orbán, Olympics in 2032?

Former president of Hungary Pál Schmitt praised the Fidesz government’s elevation of sports to the level of strategic development. Schmitt spoke regretfully of Hungary’s withdrawal of an application to host the 2024 summer Olympics, saying, “The Olympic application was attacked with lies, which shook people’s faith and so the application was withdrawn with an aching heart.”

Schmitt alluded to the possibility that Orbán is considering an application to host the 2032 Olympics, saying, “If I know the mastermind behind the Olympic bid, he’s already contemplating the ’32 Olympics. It’s true, he’ll be 70 by then, but according to a weekly paper, he’ll still be in a decision-making position even then.”

Liberal democracy=totalitarianism 

Speaker of the National Assembly László Kövér said that only Hungary is “protecting normalcy” in Europe, and “liberal democracy is a totalitarian political system.” Kövér added that “liberal western media” are better at manipulating people than the single-party press of former communist systems.

The congress resulted in delegates Gergely Gulyás, Szilárd Németh, Gábor Kubatov and Katalin Novák being elected party vice-chairs.