Orbán Brings Bad Luck

Hungarian journalists have long noticed that Orbán is the black cat of international politics. His visits tend to precede disasters and surprise election defeats, his endorsements are a kiss of political death. Maybe Trump should be worried

1. Cameron – 4 months before resignation

David Cameron - Viktor Orban

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – JANUARY 7: British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) shakes hand with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (R) after a press conference in Budapest, Hungary on January 07, 2016. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

In January 2016, David Cameron visited Orbán to garner support for his EU-deal in the run-up to the Brexit-referendum. Orbán assured him of his support, even bought a full-page ad in The Daily Mail to support Cameron and “Remain”. 4 months later Cameron lost the referendum and was forced to resign.

2. Silvio Berlusconi – 12 days before his forced resignation


“You can count on us” – Orbán was overheard telling him in 2011. 12 days later Berlusconi was forced to resign

They were known to be buddies, their timelines full of shared moments.


3. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt – 2 days before protests for his removal


2011 – Orbán paid a visit to Mubarak, being his last official guest. 2 days later protests started in Egypt and eventually ended Mubarak’s unquestioned power

The Egyptian president is still in prison.

4. Andrius Kubilius of Lithuania – 2 days before a surprise election defeat


5. Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia – 3 days before his surprise election defeat


Crowds chanted “Viktor! Viktor!”

Orbán visited Saakashvili in 2012, just 3 days before the Georgian president suffered a devastating loss at elections due to a freshly leaked scandal.

6. Sultan bin Abdulaziz – 2 weeks before his death



7. Viktor Yanukovich


Orbán called Yanukovich the stabilizer of the region. At least that explains what has happened since. Stable in Russia, or else…

8. Muammar Gaddafi

OK, it wasn’t Orbán himself, but his sport mascot and dyslexic President, Pál Scmitt, who visited the Libyan dictator the year before revolution toppled and eventually killed him.

9. Robert Fico of Slovakia – 3 days before surprise election defeat after winning the first round

Orbán Viktor; FICO, Robert

Szada, 27 March, 2014. Viktor Orbán (R) és Robert Fico (L) symoblically tighten a screw in the newly opened gas pipeline linking Slovakia and Hungary Photo: MTI/ Koszticsák Szilárd

Fico won the first round of elections comfortably. But 3 days after shaking hands (and tightening screws) with Orbán, he lost the second round to everyone’s surprise.

“Let Viktor Orbán Endorse You!”

In US politics, Orbán also endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012. Trump should be starting to get worried.

There is one world leader on whom Orbán’s curse doesn’t seem to work though. But not for the lack of trying.


2021 UPDATE on the black cat’s international endeavors here

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