Hungary PM Viktor Orban vows to preserve Christian culture as he begins third term

REUTERS/Leonhard FoegerHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses the supporters after the announcement of the partial results of parliamentary election in Budapest, Hungary, April 8, 2018.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has vowed to protect the country's Christian culture in his new government following his re-election last month.

The 54-year-old premier won by a landslide in the mid-April elections with his strong anti-immigration stance.

His political party, Fidesz, gained 133 of 199 seats in the parliament, allowing it to pass any laws, including the ones that require two-thirds of the vote from lawmakers.

"We are working on building an old-school Christian democracy, rooted in European traditions ... we believe in the importance of the nation, and in Hungary we do not want to yield ground to any supranational business or political empire," the prime minister said in a radio interview on Friday, as reported by Reuters.

After being asked by the president to form a new government on Monday, Orban promised to protect Hungary's security.

"The main task of the new government will be to preserve Hungary's security and Christian culture," Orban said, according to Reuters.

Orban, who was officially re-elected by the Parliament on Tuesday, has been clashing with the EU over his refusal to allow large numbers of immigrants into Hungary.

He has also accused Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros of meddling in the country's politics by funding NGOs that support mass immigration.

Orban insisted that groups involved in the immigration issue should be required to obtain clearance from national security authorities.

A law known as the "Stop Soros" bill has since been introduced in an attempt to curb foreign donations to organizations that back immigration. The measure aims to impose a 25 percent tax on foreign donations to advocacy groups supporting immigrants.

Soros has refuted the claims against him, saying they are "lies and distortions" intended to create a false enemy.

On Tuesday, protesters gathered on the streets of Budapest to denounce Orban's stance on the media and election rules.

According to the Express, Orban's party has amended several election rules since he was elected prime minister in 2010.

The party reportedly dropped 187 seats from the parliament, reducing it from 386 to 199, and increased the ratio of constituency seats from below 50 percent to 60 percent. Fidesz has also altered district boundaries in ways that favor the party, according to critics.

Additionally, the government also allowed ethnic Hungarians in neighboring countries, who tend to support Fidesz, to vote in the elections.

One protester said: "I regard this government as illegitimate. By modifying the election law he secured another two-thirds majority in parliament."

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