After Re-election, Hungary's Orban May Widen Crackdown on Soros Groups

Parliament expected to pass legislation that would empower government to ban NGOs that support migration and pose a 'national security risk'

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses supporters after the announcement of the partial results of parliamentary election in Budapest, Hungary, April 8
\ LEONHARD FOEGER/ REUTERS

Prime Minister Viktor Orban could use his sweeping new political mandate to extend Hungary’s crackdown on civil organizations that have been critical of his anti-immigration policies.

The right-wing nationalist projected himself as a savior of Hungary’s Christian culture against Muslim migration into Europe, an image which resonated with over 2.5 million voters, especially in rural areas.

His Fidesz party won a two-thirds majority for the third time straight time in Sunday’s election, meaning he has the powers to change constitutional laws.

The victory could embolden Orban to put more muscle into a Central European alliance against EU migration policies, working with other right-wing nationalists in Poland and Austria, and further expose cracks in the 28-nation European Union.

The European Commission said it was looking forward to working with Hungary on many challenges.

On Monday, a spokesman for Fidesz said one of the first laws to be passed by the new parliament could be legislation that would empower the government to ban NGOs that support migration and pose a “national security risk”.

The proposed legislation, dubbed “Stop Soros” by the government before the vote, is part of Orban’s strident anti-immigration campaign targeting Hungarian born U.S. financier George Soros, whose philanthropy aims to bolster liberal and open-border values.

A Fidesz spokesman told state radio on Monday: “After parliament is formed, at the end of April ... in early May in the next parliament session we can start work ... that is needed in the interest of the country, which could be the Stop Soros legal package.”