An estimated 100,000 took to the streets in Hungary to protest the media policies and campaign against non-governmental organisations by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, according to organizers. It was the second consecutive Saturday rally in the Hungarian capital, Budapest. Organisers said demonstrators were from diverse ideological backgrounds, from the left to right-wing nationalists.
Protesters carried signs accusing Orban of corruption and ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. They also called on the European Union to take action against "illiberal" government policies, specifically those targeting media freedom. Orban's Fidesz party won national elections in April with 49 percent of the vote, maintaining its 133-seat absolute majority in parliament.
Much of Hungary's media receives funds from the state or has ties to the ruling party, causing many to allege pro-Fidesz propaganda. In the weeks after the April 8 election, the main conservative opposition paper, Magyar Nemzet, ceased publication.The paper cited Orban's restrictive media policies as a contributing factor for its closure. Magyar Nemzet was also facing financial woes. Grassroots organisers have called for the establishment of an independent body to oversee media in the country, which have adopted talking points of the campaign against Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros.
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