Hungary will hold a parliamentary election on 3 April, which could end Viktor Orbán’s 12 years in power.
Prime Minister Orbán has developed a form of ‘illiberal democracy’ that has led Freedom House to class the country as only ‘partly free’ – the only European Union (EU) state with this designation. International observers have expressed serious doubts whether this election can be considered free and fair.
The ruling Fidesz Party has been caught off-guard by the rise of conservative opposition leader Péter Márki-Zay. Six opposition parties of widely differing ideological backgrounds have managed to unite behind his candidacy, presenting a united opposition against Orbán.
Péter Márki-Zay has repeatedly stressed he wants Hungary to return to democracy based on the rule of law, combat corruption in the use of EU funds and play a more constructive role in the EU.
In this event, he offers his perspective on the coming election and its implications for the future of Europe. Questions to be discussed include:
How united is the opposition?
Can the opposition win on what is not a level playing field?
Can democracy be restored in Hungary by strictly constitutional means?
What would his government’s European policy be, on everything from respecting European values, strategic autonomy to joining the euro?
What would be his approach to Russia in the Ukraine crisis, and China?
This event forms part of Chatham House’s work on democracy that delivers.
As with all Chatham House member events, questions from members drive the conversation.