Viktor Orbán’s almost certain re-election relies on an anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim manifesto

You may think Hungary is a faraway country. Small and landlocked, it has a baffling Finno-Ugric language few outsiders master. What do its corruptions and conspiracy theories have to do with us? When I was last in Budapest in August, I met Marta Pardavi. I worried about her and her friends in the Hungarian human rights movement, but I did not think I needed to transfer my fears back to Britain.

To understand her predicament, you must know that the ruling party, Fidesz, and its capo, Viktor Orbán, rigs the constitution, the electoral system, most of the media, the judiciary and Hungary’s cultural institutions. The handmaiden of autocracy is corruption. If Hungarians want to see a doctor or win a government contract, they have learned to reach into their pockets. Budapest is not a European capital now: it is Moscow on the Danube.

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