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Hungary PM Orban reacts to German election results

After historic elections in Germany, statements from Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and from numerous opposition parties have largely been congratulatory of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's election victory for a fourth consecutive term in power.

Prime Minister Orbán posted an ambiguous message of congratulations to his Facebook page late Sunday: "Budapest gratulál/Budapest gratuliert"

The congratulations from the Prime Minister were not directed at any party or individual specifically, leading some in the Hungarian media to speculate on whether Orbán was in fact expressing his pleasure at the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party gaining seats in parliament for the first time in its history.

But Orbán said in a radio interview on Friday that "we're saying a quiet prayer for the extension of the current chancellor's mandate, because among the available possibilities, from a Hungarian perspective it is in our interests."

However, Orbán and other Fidesz government officials have been critical of Merkel's response to the immigration crisis which hit Europe in 2015, and Merkel has openly criticized Hungary for its rejection of the EU's asylum-seeker resettlement quota, saying "there is a government that says it is indifferent to the decision of the European Court of Justice, and that is unacceptable." Fidesz and Merkel's Christian Democratic Union are in the same European Parliament group, the European People's Party.

Germany's historic elections Sunday saw the governing Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) coalition, headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, show its worst performance since 1949. While Merkel will remain chancellor and head of her coalition, her party's dramatic loss of support (down nearly 9 percentage points) was accompanied by a sharp increase for the right-wing populist party AfD. The anti-immigration party now has seats in parliament for the first time in its history, and will be the third-largest party in the Bundestag.

Not wanting AfD to be the largest opposition party, the Social Democrats (SPD) under Martin Schulz, which came in second in the elections but with lower support than ever in its history, will decline to remain Merkel's junior coalition partners, and will go into opposition. Thus Merkel, in order to form a majority government, will reportedly seek to form a coalition with the Greens and Free Democrats (FDP).


Last Updated on Monday, 25 September 2017 13:01

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