World News

Al Jazeera reports that on Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters demonstrated against the government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in central Budapest.

Leading the protest on Saturday was 43-year-old Peter Magyar, a former insider turned critic who was formerly married to Judit Varga, Orban’s former minister of justice.

With the intention of uniting both liberal and conservative Hungarians fed up with Orban’s governance and the fragmented, ineffectual political opposition, Magyar addressed a crowd packed into the large square in front of the parliament building in Budapest.

“Step by step, brick by brick, we are taking back our homeland and building a new country, a sovereign, modern, European Hungary,” he stated.

Some protesters shouted, “Orban resign!” and “We are not scared!” as they marched towards the parliament, according to Al Jazeera.

The red, white, and green national colors—which Orban’s party has claimed as its own for the past 20 years—were worn by many, while many others raised the national flag.

Magyar rose to prominence when he became the government’s whistleblower in February and made contentious comments about the inner workings of Orban’s cabinet.

In March, he shared a Facebook audio of a chat he had with his ex-wife Varga in January 2023.

She was heard on the audio describing attempts by Antal Rogan’s (Orban’s cabinet chief) assistants to alter prosecution files in a case involving Pal Volner (the former state secretary of the ministry of justice) and corruption.

Varga states on the tape, “They suggested to the prosecutors what should be removed,” according to Al Jazeera.

Hungary’s government has labelled Magyar as an opportunist seeking to launch a new career as a result of his divorce from Varga and his termination from many state-owned companies.

But Orban’s surge ahead of the European legislative elections in June has made his political issues worse.

It also follows the February sex abuse crisis that toppled Varga and the former president, the prime minister’s two principal political allies.

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