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International press conference of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán

Good afternoon, I welcome you all.

I would like to share a brief appraisal with you. First of all, I’d like to thank the many tens of thousands of people who were involved in conducting the election. In Hungary a detailed and comprehensive system of regulations governs electoral procedure, and this requires the coordinated efforts of tens of thousands of people. I thank those who were engaged in this work for the work they performed and for enabling us to say that the election was successfully organised. Secondly, I would like to thank the press. I believe that throughout the election campaign the press was an active and influential participant, and helped to ensure that every message was communicated to the electorate. For us politicians and Members of Parliament – particularly for those MPs who emerged at the time of the fall of communism – every parliamentary election is a celebration. We vividly remember the days when there were no parliamentary elections. That was the world we lived in; and I myself lived around half of my life to date in that world. For as long as our generation is here on earth we will see every parliamentary election as a celebration. From what I saw, the election was not only a celebration for us, but also for voters; this is why so many people went to the polls. You may also be aware that an essential part of our thinking is involving people in politics. In recent years we have employed a variety of methods for this, with the Hungarian governing parties offering a number of such innovations – an example being the institution of the national consultation. I think that over the past few years we have succeeded in engaging people in politics, but regardless of consultations and other ways of involving people, the single most important means of involvement is the decision itself, the decision made in a parliamentary election. This election has not only been successful, but also an election with a high turnout and a high level of involvement. As regards the campaign, I can say that it was energetic and intensive, and all its messages were communicated to the electorate. In Hungary internet access is above 89 per cent – so in effect 90 per cent. The structure of Hungarian public discourse is extremely modern, and this made it possible for essentially every message to reach the voters. I think that this also played a part in the turnout almost reaching – or perhaps actually reaching – 70 per cent. As regards the final result – and in particular that part of the final result which relates to us – I can tell you that support for us is clear, and we have received a strong mandate. Indeed, if we look back over the past thirty years, it is one of the strongest mandates – if not the strongest – we have ever received. As regards the issues of the election and the immediate tasks arising from it, I can tell you that the Hungarian people identified the most important issues: immigration and national sovereignty. From the election result I can conclude with absolute certainty that the Hungarian people have stated that they alone may decide on who they wish to live alongside in Hungary. The Hungarian government cannot yield an inch on this position: this decision is binding on us. From the election I can also conclude that the Hungarian people stood up for Hungarian sovereignty – meaning that we are a European nation which wants a strong Europe, comprising strong Member States. In my view the electorate also decided that the Hungarian government must stand up for a Europe of nations, and not a United States of Europe. As for the tasks now, this morning there was a meeting of our party board, at which I was entrusted with the task of engaging in talks to form a government. I have already contacted the Christian Democratic People’s Party, and I will start negotiations with them shortly. Looking at the results, I believe there is no reason to involve any other coalition party. I hope that I will be able to introduce the Government to the public within an appropriate timeframe and with appropriate speed, but also after due deliberation and preparation. I should perhaps also tell you that I believe it is important for us to survey the experience of the past four years in government. In effect the mandates of the members of the Government ended on Sunday night, and while in a legal sense they still have a great many tasks, in a political sense everyone – including my ministers and I – has finished their work. This means that we will not simply continue the Government’s work, but form a new government: we do not intend to extend the previous term, but instead begin a new term. As a result of this, some significant changes and adjustments can be expected.

Thank you for your attention.