Hungary election: Viktor Orban's Fidesz party hopes for third straight term

Leader of the Law and Justice ruling party Jaroslaw Kaczynski delivers his speech during the inauguration ceremony of the'Memento for Smolensk monument dedicated to late Polish President Lech Kaczynski and victims of the Smolensk air crash in Buda

Voter turnout in Hungary's parliamentary election reached 68.13 percent by 1630 GMT on Sunday, exceeding final turnouts in all the past three elections, National Election Office data showed.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban is seeking his third consecutive term. She said young people are rejecting the authoritarian government and her 2 daughters have left Hungary.

Hungary's ruling Fidesz party was facing calls for an inquiry into alleged electoral irregularities after the Telegraph revealed how the country's diplomatic corps was being pressed into finding negative immigration stories to boost Viktor Orban's re-election campaign.

"This is one of the most unpredictable elections", said Attila Juhasz, an analyst at Political Capital in Budapest.

Orban's main challengers are Gabor Vona's nationalist Jobbik party and a left-wing alliance of the Socialist and Dialogue parties led by Gergely Karacsony.

Orban's election campaign focused on his staunch anti-migration policies despite opinion polls suggesting that many Hungarians are actually more anxious about other social concerns such as poverty, corruption and improving funding for the country's ailing health care system.

He said voter turnout would determine the outcome.

In Hodmezovasarhely, a Fidesz stronghold in southeastern Hungary, voters complaining of graft, cronyism, and intimidation elected an independent in a February mayoral election for the first time in two decades.

Opposition leaders said they were encouraged by high early turnout.

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While voters were no longer allowed to join queues at polling stations as of 1700 GMT, those already in line will be allowed to cast their ballots, a process that can take hours at the busiest polling stations.

"Today the freedom, sovereignty and dignity of nations, for you and for us Poles, is tied to Viktor Orban", he said.

"Safety is first", said Julia Scharle, 27, holding her child outside the voting district where Orban cast his vote.

Orban, who voted with his wife at a Budapest school near their home, told a crowd of reporters that he will "respect the decision" of the Hungarian voters.

Voting will end on Sunday evening.

Vona's Jobbik party started out as xenophobic group well known for its anti-Semitic views. He claims the European Union, the U.N., Hungarian-American financier George Soros and the civic groups he sponsors are all conspiring to force Hungary to take in thousands of mainly Muslim migrants to weaken its independence and its Christian identity and culture. The EU is now in Berlin, in Budapest, in Warsaw, in Prague and at Bucharest.

But he added that since all parties, including Fidesz, had mobilized intensively, it did not necessarily mean Orban was threatened with defeat.

"We love our country and we are fighting for our country", Orban said.

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