Mass Protests Rock Budapest Against Orban Government

Tens of thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets of downtown Budapest on Saturday, rallying against the leadership of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Led by Peter Magyar, a former ally turned political opponent, the protest aimed to challenge Orban’s grip on power and demand political change.

Amid warm spring weather, protesters marched towards parliament, chanting slogans like “we are not scared” and “Orban resign!” Many adorned themselves in the red-white-green national colors and waved the Hungarian flag, symbols historically associated with Orban’s party but now reclaimed by the opposition.

Magyar, once married to Orban’s former justice minister Judit Varga, has emerged as a prominent figure challenging the government. Protesters cited his insider knowledge of the administration’s inner workings as a compelling reason to support him.

Zsuzsanna Szigeti, a healthcare worker among the demonstrators, voiced concerns about corruption and the state of education and healthcare systems. She expressed hope for change, placing trust in Magyar’s promise to address these issues.

Magyar gained public attention in February after making damning allegations about government corruption and releasing recordings implicating high-ranking officials. His revelations coincide with a politically sensitive period for Orban, ahead of upcoming European parliamentary elections and in the aftermath of a sex abuse scandal that rocked his administration.

Despite the challenges, recent polling data suggests growing support for Magyar’s political aspirations, with a significant portion of voters expressing willingness to back his party. As dissatisfaction with Orban’s rule mounts, the protest signals a growing momentum for change within Hungarian politics.