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Center-right crushes ruling Socialists in Hungary vote

Viktor Orban's Fidesz party promises tax cuts and new jobs.
Viktor Orban's Fidesz party promises tax cuts and new jobs.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Fidesz party claims 206 of the 265 parliamentary seats at stake Sunday
  • Fidesz promising tax cuts, new jobs to address Hungary's economic problems
  • Country forced to take $25 billion loan in 2008 to keep its economy afloat
RELATED TOPICS
  • Hungary
  • Central Europe

(CNN) -- Hungary's center-right Fidesz party won a sweeping victory in the first round of parliamentary elections Sunday, crushing the ruling Socialists in a country battered by the global economic recession.

With more than 99 percent of polling stations reporting results, Fidesz claimed 206 of the 265 parliamentary seats at stake in Sunday's voting and led the Socialists in every Hungarian province, according to the country's electoral commission. The Socialists, who have led Hungary with a minority government for about a year, were left with 28 seats.

Fidesz is led by former prime minister Viktor Orban, and it has been out of power since 2002. It has promised tax cuts and jobs in a country still reeling from the global financial crisis that forced it to seek a $25 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union in 2008.

Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai has implemented austerity cuts as Hungary strives to recover from a 7 percent slump in GDP and double-digit unemployment. The Socialists won just two seats more than the far-right Jobbik party, which won seats in the Hungarian parliament for the first time Sunday.

More than 10 million people cast ballots in Sunday's elections, according to official results. The second round of voting is due to take place on April 25, with another 121 seats at stake.