On Monday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán received a glowing endorsement from a powerful international ally: former President Donald J. Trump.
Trump’s endorsement is all the more intriguing given that the Biden administration recently snubbed Orbán by failing to invite him to attend a recent summit that centered on democracy.
However, while the Biden administration snubbed Orbán, Trump praised the Hungarian prime minister’s dedication to protecting his nation.
“[Orbán] has done a powerful and wonderful job in protecting Hungary,” Trump proclaimed, praising the prime minister’s success in “creating jobs” and “stopping illegal immigration.”
“[He] should be allowed to continue to do so in the upcoming Election,” Trump continued, noting that Orbán “is a strong leader [who is] respected by all.”
“He has my Complete support and Endorsement for reelection as Prime Minister!” the former president concluded.
In spite of Trump’s enthusiasm for his leadership, Orbán has faced significant criticism from various religious leaders and Bosnian officials for his remarks on Bosnia’s potential integration into the European Union. Orbán, who has been resistant to receiving refugees from Muslim-majority nations, claims that Bosnia’s integration would be challenging due to the nation’s significant Muslim population.
The Hungarian prime minister’s remarks on Bosnia were especially controversial in light of his remarks on immigration, namely when he proclaimed that Hungary would not alter its immigration policies despite a European Union top court finding them to be contradictory to the EU bloc’s laws.
Orbán currently aspires to a fourth term as Hungary’s prime minister, where he will face off with Péter Márki-Zay in the nation’s upcoming election in the spring. He has served as the prime minister of the nation since 2010, and over the years he has transformed Hungary’s political system into a governance structure akin to an “illiberal democracy.”
Orbán’s opponent, Márki-Zay, currently serves as the major of Hódmezővásárhely, which is a city located in southern Hungary. Márki-Zay enjoys support from a broad coalition of six different opposition parties, including various socialists, as well as the Jobbik, a previously nationalist party that has become more pro-EU.
The upcoming election marks the first time that Orbán has encountered a group of diverse opponents united in their efforts to drive him out of power.
If elected, Márki-Zay has promised that he will walk back the closer ties that Orbán’s administration has forged with China and Russia. Orbán’s opponent also vows to strengthen Hungary’s relationship with the European Union, along with other Western allies.
Orbán has retained little popularity with the Biden administration, given that he was pointedly uninvited to the White House’s Summit for Democracy. However, more than 100 other nations received an invitation.