Hungary’s political opposition is planning to launch a fundraising website that will accept donations for the political campaign, reports Magyar Hang. Their plans are to start the site as soon as possible.
It’s not an accident that the six-party coalition with Prime Minister-designate Péter Márki-Zay and his team is trying to raise funds in this way. Organizing the primary elections and the ensuing races were certainly not cheap, and campaign financing from state coffers will only come when there is an official campaign, starting fifty days before election day.
In addition, the six parties now have to manage collectively the amount that previously each party would have had individually. According to the Campaign Financing Act, each individual candidate receives 1 million Ft. (US $3,062) and an additional 597 million Ft. (US $1.83 million) if the party can form a national list. Since there are 106 total electoral districts, the maximum state funding available is 703 million Ft. (US $2.15 million) per party.
By comparison, if the far-right Our Homeland, for example, is able to run an individual candidate in every voting district as well as a national list, the party will get the exact same amount as the opposition coalition.
In contrast, the ruling parties have seemingly inexhaustible resources. For example, the government has faced repeated criticism for the billions of forints spent on official “government information” campaigns that also help Fidesz’s political aims.
However, fundraising is not alien to Fidesz, despite having plentiful resources as the governing party. In 2018, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán wrote his supporters and included a postal remittance check in the letter.
As HVG wrote at the time, this act was more important for its psychological impact than its monetary value. According to the news site, voters will be more attached to a given party and more certain to vote on election day if they have given monetary support to that party.
The opposition also funded its primary election in part through fundraising. This was arranged by each party collecting contributions in separate sub-accounts specifically for this purpose, and then spending the proceeds jointly to organize the event.