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Orbán to form cabinet with ‘mostly new people’

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Photo: MTI/Balázs Szecsődi

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said he plans to form his cabinet "with mostly new people" and "with new structures," speaking at an international press conference in the Hungarian Parliament building on Tuesday, national news agency MTI reported.

Orbán said he had a mandate from the heads of ruling party Fidesz, which won a sweeping victory in general elections on Sunday, to start the work of forming a government, which could take 3-4 weeks, MTI reported.

Voters had showed their support for Hungarian sovereignty in Sundayʼs election, Orbán asserted. Hungarians decided that only they can determine with whom they want to live in Hungary, and "that decision binds us," he added.

Hungary is a nation that wants a strong Europe of strong member states, Orbán said. Hungaryʼs government must support a Europe of nations, not a "united states of Europe," he added.

Asked to name some of the new cabinetʼs key areas of policy, the prime minister said demographics would be a priority.

Orbán said he was a "member of the Matolcsy school of economics," referring to György Matolcsy, the former economy minister and current governor of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB). He added that the tenets of this school hold that the stateʼs finances must be in order and that state debt must decline.

Orbán revealed that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had congratulated him on the election win by telephone, and that he had invited Juncker to visit Hungary, a visit expected to take place in one or two weeks.

The prime minister declined to comment on the announcements on Tuesday that daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet would stop publishing and Lánchíd Rádió would stop broadcasting because of financing problems. He said he does not deal with business matters, adding that owners decide the fate of privately owned media.

Responding to a question on the oppositionʼs election success in the capital, Orbán conceded that "we have more work to do in Budapest."

Asked about criticisms by election observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe suggesting that the opposition partiesʼ ability to compete on a level playing field in the general elections had been undermined by the overlap between state and ruling party resources, the Fidesz leader said the OSCE had issued a "political opinion" about the elections.

Asked about the fairness of Hungaryʼs electoral system, the prime minister said Fideszʼs victory on Sunday would have counted as a "landslide" in the British system, adding that the government would strive to serve the "three-thirds majority."

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