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Viktor Orban.
Viktor Orban.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Orban party blames opposition for Hungary primaries debacle after alleged cyber attack

Voting in the primary elections to find a candidate to challenge Orban was suspended on Saturday.
Sep 19th 2021, 11:25 AM 16,159 28

THE PARTY OF Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s claimed “incompetence” was to blame as the opposition’s first-ever primaries were suspended due to what organisers said was a cyber attack.

Voting in the primary elections to find a candidate to challenge the conservative long-time premier was suspended on Saturday after a system crash, just two hours after polling started.

Opposition leaders blamed Orban and the government for an attack, saying they got “scared that masses of people wanted to express their opinion” and vowing the “historical process” would resume on Monday.

Orban’s Fidesz party called on the opposition not to “blame your incompetence on others”.

Main pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet slammed the system collapse and the election’s “utter amateurism” marred by “huge organisational problems”.

“So far the primary elections can be summed up by mistakes, stoppage, disorganisation and amateurism,” the paper said.

Most pro-government media have largely ignored the primaries taking place.

Organisers say they need time to investigate what exactly caused the system failure, but they identified Saturday a “mass load of currently unknown origin”.

After years of bickering and a string of landslide losses, the diverse opposition has united to seek to push Orban from power in elections in April next year.

The alliance, set up last year, accuses the 58-year-old — who regularly clashes with Brussels over migration and rule-of-law issues — of endemic corruption and creeping authoritarianism.

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Polls so far indicate an unpredictable parliamentary election for the first time since Orban came to power in 2010.

Over 250 candidates are standing in the primaries nationwide to allow opposition voters to select single candidates to take on Orban as well as other Fidesz rivals in each of the country’s 106 electoral districts.

The first round is scheduled to run until September 26 with voting taking place in person and online. If required, a run-off for the prime ministerial candidacy will be held between October 4-10.

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Niall O'Connor

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