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Published on Jan 16, 2012
Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who made his name protesting Hungary's communist dictatorship, is now confronting protesters chanting "Viktator!"
As a student radical, Orban wrote a stinging analysis of the dirty tricks communists used to cling to power. He now faces accusations of playing by a similar handbook as he consolidates power for his right-wing party and erodes the democracy he once fought for with zeal.
Orban's Hungarian critics are alarmed by a creeping move in the EU nation toward centralized one-party rule under his Fidesz party.
"Orban is a big threat to Hungarian democracy," said Jozsef Debreczeni, the author of two biographies of Orban and a former adviser who broke with him in the 1990s because he felt Orban was even then beginning to abandon his liberal principles. "I am convinced he is ruining the country."