Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban won a fourth term on Sunday, prevailing on an anti-immigration message to carry his country's biggest turnout election in years. "But getting two thirds of the ballot (133 seats out of 199 in the parliament) for the third time in a row was more than they expected themselves", he said.
The bill was submitted to parliament in February. State media in Hungary is widely supportive of Oban and opposition voices were sidelined in the runup to Sunday's election.
Orban has clashed with European Union institutions over his rejection of the bloc's refugee resettlement scheme and his clampdown on civil society, while he has drawn plaudits from other nationalist politicians and those on the far right who look to him as an inspiration.
In Orban-era Hungary, everything revolves around the principle of the ethnically-determined nation: from family and media policy to foreign policy, it's Hungary and Hungarians first.
Asked about possible changes in Hungary's policy toward Germany, Orban said: "We would like to establish continually improving relations with every country".
More unnerving, conservatives too - the kind that, in post-war Europe, had functioned as a firewall between the far right and liberal democracy - borrow from Orban's playbook. He has no need to suppress the opposition or tamper with the votes because he does indeed appear to reflect the will of the people and their desire for national sovereignty and control of their borders.
"Hungary voted with its heart and its head, ignoring threats from Brussels and Soros's billions".
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In a letter to Orban, EJA chairman and founder Rabbi Menachem Margolin also sought assurances that he will "continue to defend and uphold Hungarian Jewry under his new mandate, as well as continue his vocal support, diplomatic and political support for the State of Israel".
The right-wing nationalist Jobbik party placed second with 26 seats, while a Socialist-led, left-wing coalition came in third with 20 seats. "Because of this, there's no opposition and no alternative", he said.
Both politicians are members of the the European People's Party, Europe's dominant centre-right bloc, which has shielded Orbán from criticism.
Supporters of Fidesz party react to the preliminary results of parliamentary election in Budapest, Hungary, April 8, 2018. He has also served as the PM of Hungary between 1998 and 2002.
Orban's warning that Muslim immigrants would "overrun" Europe follows populist gains in the past year by groups including Austria's Freedom Party and the League and the Five Star Movement in Italy. "Of course, we are aware that this is an important topic [migration], but it's quite sad to see that no other issues could enter the agenda in this electoral campaign and it seems to have brought result for the governing party", he said in a live appearance on RT. "I think he will moderate and become more reasonable".
"The path to reform is never easy", Polish Premier Mateusz Morawiecki, who has spoken of his dream to "re-Christianize" the European Union, said on Twitter.
Opposition parties feared that another super-majority would allow the autocratic leader to more easily push through constitutional changes, continue his crackdown on civic groups that he claims work against Hungarian interests and further strengthen his grasp on the highly centralized state power structure.