(CNN)Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is warning that a backlash against immigration in the European Parliament's elections next year will likely bring a shift toward illiberal "Christian democracy."
Hungary's Orban warns of backlash against immigration in European Parliament vote
Orban, who won a third consecutive term in power this year, has locked horns with EU leaders in recent years over his country's hardline immigration policies and for clamping down on democratic institutions -- including civic organizations, the media and academic institutions -- as he consolidated his power.
He has also openly criticized the EU's sanctions against Russia over Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and has met regularly with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Orban has long touted his vision of a right-wing conservative "illiberal democracy" to Hungarians as an alternative to the political models seen in western Europe.
In his annual speech to ethnic Hungarians in Baile Tusnad in Romania on Saturday, he criticized EU leaders for failing to stop mass immigration, particularly of Muslims, according to Reuters.
"The European elite is visibly nervous," Orban told hundreds of cheering supporters, according to a Reuters translation of his remarks, confirmed by Orban's spokesman to CNN.
"Their big goal to transform Europe, to ship it into a post-Christian era, and into an era when nations disappear -- this process could be undermined in the European elections," he said. "And it is our elementary interest to stop this transformation."
He described a model of illiberal Christian democracy that rejects multiculturalism and immigration while being anti-communist and standing for Christian values.
"We are facing a big moment. We are saying goodbye not simply to liberal democracy ... but to the 1968 elite," he said, referring to a liberal leftist movement that ended conservative rule in several countries.