BUDAPEST, Hungary — Newly re-elected Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Tuesday that "significant changes" will be made in his next government.
"We will not continue governing, but a new government will be formed instead," said Orban, who won a third consecutive term — and fourth overall — in Sunday's parliamentary election. "We don't intend to extend the previous term but instead we will open a new term. Thus significant changes and modifications can be expected."
Near-complete election results show Orban's Fidesz party winning a supermajority of 134 seats in the 199-seat national assembly. Votes sent by mail from abroad were still being counted and could slightly alter the current result, but the sweeping victory of Orban, Fidesz, and its small ally, the Christian Democrat party, was not in question.
Critics charge Orban with weakening the democratic system of checks and balances, enriching a new oligarch class of cronies with the help of funds from the European Union and greatly concentrating power. Orban is also pursuing his stated goal of turning Hungary into an "illiberal state" modeled on countries like Russia and Turkey.
Orban, however, said the country was a "constitutional democracy" and functioning as such.
"Hungary continues to stand on constitutional foundations," he told reporters. "Within those, we will do everything that serves the interests of the people."
Orban also said "favored relations" would continue with Poland and the German region of Bavaria, whose politicians came to Hungary to support his re-election campaign.
"From Bavaria, Manfred Weber visited us and stood beside us, beside me, "Orban said. "He is also the leader of the European People's Party but I saw Bavarian support in his participation. And the Polish prime minister and the president of the Polish government party."
"They supported all that we do and they expressed the friendship of the Bavarian and Polish people," Orban continued. "For me, these two relations will be the favored relations in the future, as well."
Some 20 percent of Hungarian exports go to Germany, whose car factories are among the country's biggest investors and employers. Still, relations between Orban and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been weighed down by their differences over immigration.
Orban is fervently anti-migration and based his re-election campaign on the demonization of the mainly Muslim migrants coming to Europe.
"As soon as we know what Germany's policies are, we can immediately answer this question," Orban said after being asked about possible changes in Hungary's policy toward Germany.
"We would like to establish continually improving relations with every country," Orban said. "This applies to Germany, too, but I was elected not by the German people but by the Hungarians."Comment on this story
Asked about a report from election monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe , which described campaign rhetoric as "quite hostile and xenophobic," noted the overlap between government ads and Fidesz ads that "blurred the line between state and party" and found that state media "clearly favored" the government, Orban did not go into details.
"We are grateful for the observations," he said. "Thank you for the contribution to making political opinion on the Hungarian election. That's fine."