Viktor Orban's right-hand man
17 March, 2017
Hungarian ruling Fidesz party veteran Janos Ader was easily re-elected last Monday as the country's president to serve for another five years. MPs voted 131 in favour of extending Ader's term in a second round run-off after he failed to garner the required two-thirds majority in the first round. Leftist opposition candidate Laszlo Majtenyi received just 39 votes. Ader's re-election is a further sign of PM Viktor Orban's firm grip on power just over a year before a parliamentary election due in April 2018, news wires reported.
The 57-year-old Ader, a lawyer and long-time member of Fidesz party, has been a strong ally of Orban since being elected for the largely ceremonial role in 2012. He had provided Orban with a solid backing for his political programme apart from occasional road bumps at the most controversial reforms. He had vetoed bills on mandatory voter registration and a proposal to hide nearly a billion euro of central bank funds from public scrutiny, dealing a blow to National Bank Governor Gyorgy Matolcsy, another Orban's ally.
“The president's powers are rather limited and Ader is not expected to challenge the overall policy course of Fidesz. As such, re-election of the incumbent will signal continued Fidesz dominance,” Andrius Tursa at think tank Teneo Intelligence said cited by Reuters. Fidesz enjoys a comfortable lead in opinion polls ahead of the Socialists and the nationalist Jobbik party.