Viktor Orban returned to power as prime minister of Hungary on Saturday when the new government took office — a month after a landslide election win for his centre—right party Fidesz.
Mr. Orban — who headed a coalition government from 1998 to 2002 — addressed thousands of supporters at a rally in front of Budapest’s parliament building in the late afternoon.
“Without you, the revolution could not have taken place,” Mr. Orban said.
On a sunny spring day his party dubbed the “Day of the New Beginning”, Mr. Orban promised governance that would focus on work, home, family, health and order.
Earlier, parliament had voted to appoint him as prime minister by a comfortable 261 votes to 107.
With Fidesz having won over two thirds of the seats in Hungary’s 386—member parliament in April elections, the outcome of the vote was never in doubt.
Mr. Fidesz has already taken advantage of its huge parliamentary majority to push through legislation even before the outgoing Socialist—backed government led by Gordon Bajnai had left office.
It has created a new government structure with fewer, more powerful ministries, and moved to reduce the number of lawmakers in parliament and on local councils by half from 2014.
A law passed last week gives over 2.5 million ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring countries the right to claim Hungarian citizenship, a move popular at home but which has provoked an angry response from northern neighbour Slovakia.
Mr. Fidesz has pledged to revive Hungary’s economy and create a million new jobs in the country of ten million by the end of the decade.
The party also plans to effect major structural changes, including in the medium term a rewrite of Hungary’s constitution.
However, Mr. Fidesz has so far revealed little in the way of concrete details of its planned economic policy.
Hungary’s economy remains shaky, unemployment is at a record high of 11.8 per cent, and the International Monetary Fund and European Union are watching closely.
The previous government committed Hungary to maintaining strict fiscal discipline and made large public sector spending cuts, a condition attached to a 25—billion—dollar rescue package in 2008.
As the wind picked up and clouds gathered over the huge square in front of Hungary’s neo—gothic parliament building, Mr. Orban warned his jubilant supporters not to expect too much too soon.
“It’s not a kids’ birthday party we’re organising,” he said.