Viktor Orbán

Prime Minister of Hungary (1998–2002; 2010–present)

Viktor Orbán (31 May 1963) is a Hungarian politician who has served as the Prime Minister of Hungary for three non-consecutive terms since 1998. He is the founder and leader of the ruling right-wing party, Fidesz.

Viktor Orbán
Orbán in 2018
Prime Minister of Hungary
Assumed office
29 May 2010
PresidentLászló Sólyom
Pál Schmitt
László Kövér (Acting)
János Áder
Katalin Novák
Preceded byGordon Bajnai
In office
8 July 1998 – 27 May 2002
PresidentÁrpád Göncz
Ferenc Mádl
Preceded byGyula Horn
Succeeded byPéter Medgyessy
President of Fidesz
Personal details
Born (1963-05-31) 31 May 1963 (age 60)
Székesfehérvár, Hungary
Political partyFidesz
Spouse(s)Anikó Lévai (1986–present)
Alma materEötvös Loránd University
Pembroke College, Oxford
WebsiteOfficial website

Orbán was born on May 31, 1963, in Székesfehérvár, Hungary. He studied law at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest and became involved in politics in the 1980s, when he helped found Fidesz, a youth organization that later evolved into a political party.

Orbán first served as Prime Minister from 1998 to 2002, during which time he implemented a series of economic and social reforms that helped to stabilize Hungary's economy and modernize its infrastructure. He was reelected in 2010 and has since been reelected twice, in 2014 and 2018.

As Prime Minister, Orbán has pursued a populist, nationalist agenda that has been controversial both domestically and internationally. He has been criticized for his crackdown on civil society, media freedom, and academic independence, as well as his handling of the refugee crisis and his opposition to the European Union.

Orbán's government has been accused of corruption and of using its power to undermine democratic institutions and the rule of law. His efforts to centralize power and weaken the judiciary and the media have drawn criticism from the European Union and human rights organizations.

Despite these criticisms, Orbán remains popular among his supporters, who credit him with improving Hungary's economy and promoting its national interests. He has been successful in mobilizing a loyal base of supporters and has built a reputation as a strong, decisive leader.

Orbán's vision for Hungary is based on what he has described as "illiberal democracy," a model of governance that emphasizes national sovereignty, traditional values, and economic self-sufficiency. He has argued that this model is better suited to the challenges of the 21st century than traditional liberal democracy, which he sees as outdated and unsustainable.

Orbán's legacy as a leader is a matter of debate. While he has been credited with bringing stability and prosperity to Hungary, his authoritarian tendencies and controversial policies have raised concerns about the future of democracy and human rights in the country.

Early life change

Viktor Orbán is a Hungarian politician who has been the country's Prime Minister since 2010. He was born on May 31, 1963, in Székesfehérvár, Hungary, and grew up in a middle-class family. Orbán showed an early interest in politics and was a member of various student organizations during his high school years. He went on to study law at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, where he became involved in anti-communist activism and co-founded the Federation of Young Democrats, a liberal youth organization. After graduation, Orbán began his political career and was first elected to parliament in 1990, following the fall of communism in Hungary.

Early career change

Viktor Orbán's early political career was defined by his role in the Hungarian democratic opposition and his leadership of the Federation of Young Democrats. In 1988, he was a key figure in organizing a demonstration in Budapest that called for free elections and greater political freedoms. He was first elected to parliament in 1990 and quickly rose through the ranks of the Hungarian Democratic Forum, serving as the party's chairman from 1993 to 2000. Orbán became Prime Minister of Hungary in 1998, following a landslide victory for his conservative Fidesz party. During his first term in office, Orbán pursued a program of economic liberalization and introduced a series of reforms aimed at modernizing Hungary's political and economic institutions.

First premiership change

During his first premiership from 1998 to 2002, Viktor Orbán pursued a pro-market economic policy, implemented tax cuts and privatization measures, and oversaw an increase in foreign investment in Hungary. However, his administration was criticized for its lack of transparency, and Orbán faced accusations of nepotism and corruption. Orbán also pursued a controversial media policy, introducing laws that restricted press freedom and gave the government more control over public media. His administration was also marked by tensions with neighboring countries, particularly Slovakia and Romania, over issues related to Hungarian minority rights. In the 2002 election, Orbán's party was defeated by the Hungarian Socialist Party, and he subsequently went into opposition.

Leader of the Opposition change

Following his defeat in the 2002 election, Viktor Orbán became the leader of the opposition in the Hungarian parliament. During this period, he worked to reshape his party's image and ideology, moving it away from its previous liberal stance and towards a more conservative, nationalist platform. Orbán also focused on building a stronger party organization and cultivating ties with conservative and populist movements in Europe and the United States. His opposition to the Hungarian Socialist Party government and its austerity measures helped him to regain popularity with voters, and his party won a decisive victory in the 2010 election, returning him to the position of Prime Minister. During his time as opposition leader, Orbán continued to advocate for pro-market economic policies and criticized the government's handling of issues related to national identity and minority rights.

Second premiership change

Viktor Orbán began his second term as Prime Minister of Hungary in 2010, following his party's landslide victory in the general election. During his second premiership, Orbán pursued a program of far-reaching constitutional and institutional reforms, which drew criticism from both domestic and international observers. His government implemented a new constitution, which was widely criticized for limiting the power of the judiciary, undermining the independence of the media, and restricting the rights of minorities. Orbán's government also introduced controversial laws regulating media ownership and limiting political advertising. Despite criticism from the European Union and other international bodies, Orbán's Fidesz party remained popular among Hungarian voters, winning a two-thirds majority in the 2014 parliamentary election.

Views, public image, international influence change

Viktor Orbán is known for his populist and nationalist political views, which prioritize Hungarian interests and emphasize traditional values. His policies have been controversial both domestically and internationally, with critics accusing him of eroding democratic institutions and human rights. Orbán has also been criticized for his government's handling of the refugee crisis and for its perceived authoritarian tendencies. Nevertheless, Orbán remains popular among many Hungarians, who see him as a strong leader who is willing to stand up to foreign influence. His policies have also influenced other populist movements in Europe and beyond, making him a prominent figure on the international stage.

Personal life change

Viktor Orbán was born on May 31, 1963, in Székesfehérvár, Hungary. He is married to lawyer and economist Anikó Lévai, and the couple has five children. Orbán is a devout Catholic and has been active in promoting traditional family values and Christian identity in Hungary. He is also a sports enthusiast, and he played basketball for the Hungarian national team in his youth. Orbán's personal life has been relatively private, and he has not spoken extensively about his hobbies or personal interests.

References change