Former US Ambassador Attacks Orban

  • 18 Apr 2018 10:40 AM
  • Hungary Journal
Former US Ambassador Attacks Orban
Former American Ambassador to Budapest Eleni Kounalakis is running for Lieutenant Governor of California this year. In a Medium post the former diplomat harshly criticised Hungary’s government and warned that the “Orban model” can spread in the US.

Orban’s “hold on power is more entrenched than ever, and his xenophobic, nationalist platform continues to spread beyond Hungarian borders”, writes Kounalakis, who was ambassador to Hungary under President Barack Obama from 2010 to 2013.

“His reforms dramatically reduced checks and balances. He weakened democratic institutions by reducing the independence of the media and by asserting political influence over the judiciary, academic institutions, and even religious institutions,” she writes.

Kounalakis claims that Donald Trump’s “2016 victory has been a boon for autocratic leaders everywhere. Both as a validator of their own heavy-handed approach to governance, and a symbol that winner-take-all leadership is back in fashion.

Around the world, would-be autocrats are seizing the opportunity created by the election of Donald Trump to consolidate power as quickly and efficiently as possible”.

“The world is holding its breath to see what happens when a would-be autocrat — Donald Trump — meets the world’s oldest and strongest democracy. I have faith that our system will prevail. But not without the active engagement of our citizenry.

Democracy, at its root, is self-government: government of the people, by the people, for the people. And people around the world are paying attention,” she concludes.

  • How does this content make you feel?

XpatLoop Media Partner

Hungary Journal

This newcomer has been publishing online news about the Hungarian political scene since 2017. Their stated goal is to be unbiased, as they strive to inform readers about the official standpoint and also give space to criticism of the government by the opposition.

Explore More Reports

  • Local Opinion: Analyses One Month After Elections

    Local Opinion: Analyses One Month After Elections

    • 7 May 2018 7:18 AM

    Commentators across the political spectrum agree that the sweeping victory of the government side was due in the first place to the weaknesses of the opposition, although left-liberal analysts also contend that the governing forces enjoyed unfair advantages during the campaign.

  • Video: Follow-Up 'Demo For Democracy'

    Video: Follow-Up 'Demo For Democracy'

    • 23 Apr 2018 11:03 AM

    Demonstrators dissatisfied with the state of the rule of law and press freedom in Hungary protested for democracy in the capital on Saturday afternoon.