Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 02:04:13 AM EST
Over the past decade, Hungary has become an increasingly authoritarian "illiberal democracy", as Prime Minister Victor Orbán has used his political dominance to stifle opposition. But they had local body elections today, and the tide may be turning:
The candidate backed by several opposition parties has been elected mayor of Budapest, in a blow to nationalist prime minister Viktor Orbán's Fidesz party.
With 74% of the votes counted in Budapest, Gergely Karacsony was leading Istvan Tarlos by 50.1% to 44.8%. Shortly after, Tarlos, the ruling party incumbent, conceded defeat on Sunday night.
"On the national level the result is nice but in Budapest, there is thinking to be done," Tarlos told a news conference flanked by Orbán, the prime minister. "Budapest made the decision to elect Gergely Karacsony today."
Despite Tarlos's reference to the national picture, opposition parties were also projected to win mayoral races in around 10 of the country's 23 largest cities in nationwide local elections. In 2014, they won just three of those races.
Local body elections aren't the same as national ones, but it suggests Hungarian voters are finally sick of Orbán. Hopefully they'll get a proper chance to throw him out in 2022.