Tens of thousands of Hungarians rally in new anti-Orban protest

Published April 22, 2018, 7:32 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Agence France-Presse

Tens of thousands of Hungarians took to the streets in Budapest for a second consecutive Saturday to protest against newly reelected Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

 Many of the demonstrators, most of whom were young, chanted "democracy" and brandished Hungarian and European Union flags (AFP / ATTILA KISBENEDEK/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Many of the demonstrators, most of whom were young, chanted “democracy” and brandished Hungarian and European Union flags (AFP / ATTILA KISBENEDEK/ MANILA BULLETIN)

The crowd, estimated at around 30,000 by a AFP photographer, marched through the city to a rally where speakers demanded a non-partisan public media.

Campaigning hard against immigration, the 54-year-old Orban’s overwhelming victory April 8 saw his Fidesz party secure around half the vote.

But among criticisms regarding the fairness of the election, observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation said the campaign was marked by media bias.

As part of sweeping reforms since he came into power in 2010, Orban has turned the public media channels into what his critics call “government mouthpieces”.

Many of the demonstrators, most of whom were young, chanted “democracy” and brandished Hungarian and European Union flags.

An organiser, Viktor Gyetvai, 20, told AFP the protest “was not going to change the system overnight” but was aimed at sparking a “civil movement” to challenge Orban.

 
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