Sarkozy congratulates Hungary's Orban

26th April 2010, Comments 0 comments

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday congratulated Hungary's right-wing leader Viktor Orban after his party won a historic two-thirds majority in weekend elections.

Sarkozy, whose father is Hungarian-born, said the election win conferred a "special responsibility" on Orban as Hungary is to take over the presidency of the European Union in 2011.

"Hungary's European commitment and its unity will be of the utmost necessity during this period, for the good of Hungary and of all of Europe," Sarkozy said in a letter to Orban released by his office.

France wants to pursue "the deepening of our bilateral relations in all areas -- political, economic, commercial and cultural -- in the spirit of the Franco-Hungarian strategic partnership that allows us to look to the future in a friendly and confident manner," he added.

Orban's Fidesz party won 263 of the 386 seats in parliament, marking the first time that a political party single-handedly garnered a two-thirds majority, which would empower it to change the constitution.

The elections ended eight years of Socialist rule in Hungary and marked Orban's comeback. The 46-year-old politician was prime minister from 1998 to 2002.

"After these years spent in the opposition, you have been able to build a political dynamic that today allows you to lead the government with the support of a large part of your citizens," wrote Sarkozy.

The French leader, who does not speak Hungarian, paid a brief visit to Budapest in September 2007 and addressed members of parliament.

© 2010 AFP

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