Will Viktor Orban survive the power battle in Hungary?
Updated 23:58, 20-Sep-2022
Pablo Gutierrez in Budapest

Pressure continues to mount at home and abroad against Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The leading opposition party has announced the formation of a shadow government to defeat the Prime Minister and bring Hungary closer to Europe.

The announcement comes after European Union (EU) lawmakers declared that Hungary is no longer a full democracy and froze 65 percent of EU funds over corruption and the rule of law concerns.

MEP Klara Dobrev is taking a stand against Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

This weekend on Twitter, she announced the creation of a 'shadow cabinet' to defeat Orban and build what she calls "a truly European, successful Hungary."

Viktor Orban won his fourth consecutive term in office in April. /Andrej Isakovic/AFP

Viktor Orban won his fourth consecutive term in office in April. /Andrej Isakovic/AFP

Dobrev outlined her plans to unseat Orban as she presented the members of this shadow government on Monday.

"There is a huge disagreement with the Orban government within the country," said Dobrev, of the Democratic Coalition. "Our task as a shadow government is to combine these forces to make a strong political force."

The announcement comes on the heels of a series of unprecedented actions taken by European lawmakers in Brussels.

Last Thursday, the European Parliament declared Hungary was no longer a 'functioning democracy,' with a non-binding resolution backed by most MEPs. 

On Sunday the European Commission recommended suspending 65 percent of EU funds, an estimated $7.5 billion, to Hungary.

EU budget commissioner Johannes Hann said the decision was made due to Budapest's lack of transparency in awarding public contracts and its failure to tackle corruption and prosecute those who have misused EU funds.

Among voters in Budapest, there is an apparent dissatisfaction with the Prime Minister's handling of the government. But there is also doubt that the opposition parties will be able to push him out of power after his landslide election victory just five months ago.

"If we are living in a democracy, there is a place to do politics and that is parliament," said Tibor Nagy, a history teacher. "The opposition should work there and not hide themselves behind a shadow government."

Orban's government has a tight deadline to satisfy Brussels' requirements in order to unlock EU funds. The EU Commission has given Budapest until November 19 to comply or lose funds.

This weekend Hungary's government announced it would pass a string of new laws in the next few days, to try to comply with EU requirements.

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