Since Fidesz interpreted the April 2022 election as a resounding reaffirmation of its policies by the Hungarian public, a major reshuffle of the Orbán cabinet seemed unlikely. After all, as in previous elections, Fidesz’s campaign promise had been to carry on as before. And although that was not much of a policy programme, it did imply a promise that the people in charge would be largely the same. Yet, Orbán likes a reshuffle, both as a symbol of his immense power over the ruling party and sometimes also as an opportunity to explore new policy avenues, which are often tied to specific individuals who succeed in selling the prime minister on new ideas.
It is a sign of Orbán’s increased confidence and strength that with Gergely Gulyás and János Lázár the cabinet features two talented young politicians who are considered by many as potential successors of the PM. Orbán has tended to push out figures who seem even remotely capable of challenging him for the leadership of Hungary’s leading right-wing party. At this point, that threat is so reduced that political aptitude is no longer an impediment to high office.
As critics have pointed out, one problematic aspect of the continuity in the cabinet structure is the lack of dedicated health, education and environmental portfolios. The subordination of these areas is obvious and the fact that they have a vital influence on the quality of life of Hungarians is not reflected in the government’s priorities as it is reflected in the cabinet structure. In fact, it was not even immediately clear who would be in charge of education, the responsibility for which was ultimately split between two ministries.
Let us take a look at the individuals who make up the fifth Orbán cabinet, the background of the ministers and the official and unofficial roles they are likely to fill in the next government.
Author: Gábor Győri
Policy Solutions is a progressive political research institute based in Budapest. It was founded in 2008 and it is committed to the values of liberal democracy, solidarity, equal opportunity, sustainability and European integration. The focus of Policy Solutions’ work is on understanding political processes in Hungary and the European Union. Among the pre-eminent areas of our research are the investigation of how the quality of democracy evolves, the analysis of factors driving euroscepticism, populism and the far-right, and election research.
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