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Concerned Over Electoral Integrity, European MEPs Call for Election Observers in Hungary

picture of woman voting

On Tuesday, 62 Members of the European Parliament wrote a letter to the director of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE / ODIHR), requesting the organization to send a full-scale election observation mission to the Hungarian parliamentary elections on April 3, reports Népszava.

European politicians expressed their concerns in the letter that the elections will not take place “according to the highest democratic standards,” according to the Hungarian daily, which has seen the letter.

Election observers expressed significant concerns over the fairness of the 2018 Hungarian elections. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has consistently attacked democracy in his country ever since. We need independent observers to know what is going to occur in Hungary this spring. Electoral manipulation would be massively damaging to European democracy. The European Union is only democratic if democracy works in all Member States.

-stated Daniel Freund of the German Green Party, one of the signatories.

The letter notes that, ahead of the upcoming elections, there have been further worrying developments. These include an amendment to the election law, adopted during the state of emergency without public consultation in 2020, which would have the effect of benefiting those already in office.

It also mentions a legal amendment in November 2021 legitimizing so-called “voting tourism,” in which the government permits people to establish fictitious addresses as their permanent address so they can vote in that district.

In light of all this, we believe that it is crucial to monitor all significant aspects of the Hungarian electoral process: the legislative framework, candidate and voter registration, the campaign, the role of the media (including comprehensive media monitoring), election administration, election debates, the participation of women and national minorities and the process of voting, counting and data collection on election day, as well as follow-up for post-election complaints and appeals through a full-scale election observation mission.

-states the letter obtained by Népszava, which was signed by politicians representing 19 Member States and five groups in the European Parliament, including MEPs from the Democratic Coalition and Momentum. [HVG]

Posted in 2022 Elections

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