Macrons rivals hope for major electoral slap after Viktor Orbans triumphant victory

French election: Macron faces 12 contenders as race begins

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Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban scored a fourth consecutive landslide win in Sunday’s election, as voters endorsed his ambition of a conservative, “illiberal” state and shrugged off concerns over Budapest’s close ties with Moscow.

Surrounded by leading party members, a triumphant Orban, 58, said Sunday’s victory came against all odds.

“We have scored a victory so big, that it can be seen even from the Moon,” he said. “We have defended Hungary’s sovereignty and freedom.”

The Hungarian leader’s crushing victory is giving Emmanuel Macron’s rivals hopes he could suffer a surprise defeat as French voters head to the polls this month.

Leader and presidential candidate for UPR, Francois Asselineau, celebrated Orban’s success on April 3.

He wrote: “This historic electoral triumph, which offers him a fourth mandate, can be explained very simply: Orban defends the interests of Hungarians.

“He refuses:

-euro

-submission to the US and to the EU

-uncontrolled immigration

-supply of arms to Ukraine

-sanctions against Russia

“Orban is the exact opposite of Macron.

“This electoral result gives us hope that Macron could well receive a major electoral slap in the first round of the presidential election next Sunday.

“More and more French people have the feeling that this is the case.”

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National Rally leader Marine Le Pen, favoured in the poll to be the candidate facing Macron at the second round, also congratulated Orban for his victory.

She wrote: “Congratulations to Viktor Orbán on his landslide victory in the Hungarian parliamentary elections.

“When the people vote, the people win!”

Echoing her comments, National Rally MEP Jean-Paul Garraud said: “Yes, when the people vote, the people win!

“Hungary has just demonstrated this. Let’s do the same next Sunday!”

Confident Le Pen could win the French elections, his colleague in the European Parliament, MEP Dominique Bilde also said: “Congratulations to Viktor Orban brilliantly re-elected in Hungary.

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“Marine Le Pen will soon be president in France.”

And French MEP Nicolas Bay praised the Hungarian leader’s efforts celebrating with him in Budapest on Sunday.

He said: “Viktor Orbàn’s landslide victory tonight in the parliamentary elections.

“While the press predicted a difficult election with a coalition of all political parties against him, traditional values still triumph in Hungary!

“I am present this evening in Budapest for the election evening, at the invitation of Fidesz. It is a real joy to share this victory of Viktor Orbán with our Hungarian friends!”

His comfortable victory could embolden Orban, 58, in his policy agenda which critics say amounts to a subversion of democratic norms, media freedom and the rights of minorities, particularly gay and lesbian people.

Conceding defeat, Marki-Zay, 49, said Fidesz’s win was due to what he called its vast propaganda machine, including media dominance.

“I don’t want to hide my disappointment, my sadness … We knew this would be an uneven playing field,” he said. “We admit that Fidesz got a huge majority of the votes. But we still dispute whether this election was democratic and free.”

Speaking at his first and most likely last rally ahead of the April 10 vote, Emmanuel Macron warned supporters of a Brexit-like surprise result this month.

He said: “Look at what happened with Brexit, and so many other elections: what looked improbable actually happened.

“Nothing is impossible.

“The danger of extremism has reached new heights because, in recent months and years, hatred, alternative truths have been normalised.

“We have got used to see on TV shows antisemitic and racist authors.”

Although he is still projected to win a second mandate, Macron has lost ground in the polls, a dip that some aides attribute to a manifesto that includes tough, conservative measures such as raising the state pension age to 65.

Others have also criticised a campaign that started late and lacked “magic”.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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