November 9, 2013 / 12:41 PM / 4 years ago

Hungary's ruling party sees election in early April

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban waves after his speech at the Heroes Square in Budapest, October 23, 2013, as Hungary commemorates the 57th anniversary of their revolution against Soviet rule. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary will hold a parliamentary election in early April, the vice chairman of the ruling Fidesz party was quoted as saying on Saturday.

President Janos Ader, who filled a number of major posts in Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party before being elected to the presidency last year, sets the election date. His office would not comment.

“According to the plans, we will hold the parliamentary election in early April, then the European Parliament election in May and the local government vote will follow in the autumn,” Lajos Kosa told the conservative daily Magyar Nemzet.

Under the constitution, the parliamentary election is held every four years in April or May, normally on a Sunday, meaning the likely dates are April 6 or 13.

Opinion polls show Fidesz is well ahead of the main opposition Socialists, but many people are undecided.

Orban, 50, took power in 2010 with a two-thirds majority that allowed his party to rewrite the constitution and major laws and follow unorthodox fiscal policies, drawing criticism from the European Union and from foreign businesses.

His policies, including a much-criticized bank levy, got Hungary out of an EU fiscal monitoring procedure after nine years, but his domestic opponents accuse Orban of a power grab and of filling public posts with party loyalists.

Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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