Fidesz MP György Simonka (pictured), recently caught nodding off during a Parliamentary session in October, has announced that he will not run for re-election in Békés County’s 4th electoral district next year.
“No proposal was made at the Fidesz electoral district meeting in South Békés tonight for the candidate to run in the 2022 Parliamentary elections,” Simonka wrote in a statement uploaded to his website, adding that the Electoral Ethics Committee will have to weigh in with a decision first.
The MP was indicted in 2019 for committing budget fraud and other crimes as part of a criminal organization causing serious monetary damages. According to the indictment, Simonka and his accomplices attempted to illegally obtain EU and domestic tenders for fruit and vegetable producers and their organizations. At a preliminary court date in January last year, eight of the 33 defendants pleaded guilty and four arranged plea bargains with the prosecution, but Simonka has denied all charges against him.
However, it appears that the case has worn the Fidesz MP down:
The polls show Fidesz can win the South Békés district, but not with me. Already at the beginning of last year, I asked not to run as a candidate, because the upcoming campaign would then be about nothing more than my ongoing court case. Neither my family nor the community needs this. My family also gave me an ultimatum … Although my name is among the candidates – which I again thank everyone for – I have chosen to meet the expectations of my family and party and will recuse myself from nomination.
At the end of the announcement, Simonka listed some of his achievements and wished much success to his successor.
According to weekly Magyar Narancs, Norbert Erdős, state secretary overseeing grocery chains in the Ministry of Agriculture, has the best chance to get the party’s nomination for Simonka’s seat in Parliament.