How Hungary’s Orban Puts Democratic Tools to Authoritarian Use

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban casts his vote at a polling station for the European Parliament election, Budapest, May 26, 2019 (MTI photo by Szilard Koszticsak via AP).
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban casts his vote at a polling station for the European Parliament election, Budapest, May 26, 2019 (MTI photo by Szilard Koszticsak via AP).

In his visit to the White House last month, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who proudly describes himself as an illiberal democrat, did what every good populist does: He explained that he had a mandate from the people. “From the people, by the people, for the people. That is the basis for the Hungarian government,” he said when asked about democratic backsliding in his country. Like other populist leaders, Orban uses a number of tactics to back up his claims: sidelining the media to quell critics, whipping up perceived threats from migrants, refugees and others from abroad, and, like other […]

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