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Hungarians vote in second round of general elections

Last Updated: Sunday, April 25, 2010 - 12:26

Budapest: Polls opened at 6:00 am (0400 GMT) on Sunday for the second round of general elections in Hungary that could give the right-wing Fidesz party a crucial two-thirds parliamentary majority.

Fidesz was already the clear winner of the election after taking 52.73 percent of votes in the first round on April 11, winning 206 seats in the 386-seat Parliament.

The far-right Jobbik party meanwhile made its first entry into Parliament with 16.67 percent of votes, behind the ruling Socialists with 19.30 percent of votes.

The new left-wing green LMP party also passed the five-percent threshold necessary to be represented, obtaining 7.48 percent.

In the second round, Hungarians will only vote in 57 constituencies where no clear winner emerged two weeks ago. In this final round, 121 parliamentary seats are up for grabs.

The key issue on Sunday however will be whether Fidesz can obtain a two-thirds majority in Parliament that would give it the power to alter the Constitution, change electoral and media laws, reduce the number of local governments and reduce the number of deputies in Parliament.

Fidesz and its charismatic leader Viktor Orban are leading in 52 of the remaining constituencies, and analysts are convinced they will secure a two-thirds majority overall.

No single party has ever had a two-thirds majority in Hungary before, with only a coalition of the Socialists and Liberals doing so back in 1994.

Orban, who was already prime minister in 1998-2002, has promised to create one million jobs over 10 years in a country of 10 million, and pledged tax cuts to re-launch the economy.

Polls were to close Sunday at 7:00 pm (1700 GMT) with first partial results expected by 10:00 pm.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, April 25, 2010 - 12:26
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