ACTIVISTS DEFEAT HUNGARY’S ANTI-LGBTQ REFERENDUM.

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04/11/2022

Although Hungary’s notorious right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán came away with yet another “crushing victory” in the country’s parliamentary election on 3 April, human and civil rights activists came away with at least one success: thwarting Orbán’s anti-LGBTQ+ referendum. The referendum, which coincided with Hungary’s parliamentary election, sought to curb the scope of sex-education programs in schools, particularly in terms of banning content relating to gender-affirming surgeries. As Hungary’s politics drift further away from liberal European norms, the failure of this referendum suggests that progressive dissent continues to endure in the face of increasing right-wing pressure. Having first assumed the office in 2010, this upcoming term will be Orbán’s fourth as prime minister of Hungary – and his most decisive victory. Orbán’s Fidesz-Magyar Polgári Szövetség (“Hungarian Civic Alliance”) party won 55.16 percent of the vote, enough to tack on an additional seat to the party’s supermajority in parliament, which now stands at 134 of 199 seats. Despite predictions of a tight race and the unprecedented deployment of a full election monitoring mission by the European Union’s Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the election ultimately proved to be clear-cut in favour of the incumbent party.

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