Despite having been convicted of corruption charges and subsequently resigning, Margit Tát (Fidesz-KDNP) was re-elected as mayor of Méhkerék, Békés County, in a special election held on Sunday. A majority of ethnic Romanians live in the town of some 2,000 inhabitants.
Clerk Ágnes Major told MTI that a total of 1,190 votes were cast in the mayoral election, a turnout of 67.44%. Margit Tát received 805 votes, more than double the amount of her closest competitor, Samuel Gherman, who got 349 votes. A third candidate, Daniel Gherasim, received 20 votes.
Both Gherman and Gherasim ran as independent candidates. 16 votes were counted as invalid.
The special election was necessitated by Margit Tát herself, who resigned at the end of February after she received a suspended prison sentence by a court in Gyula on February 9 for the crime of defrauding the budget and for the continued misuse of a forged private document. Tát had led the settlement since 2010.
A total of eight defendants in the case defrauded the budget by more than 30 million Ft. (US $78,800) between September 2013 and October 2015, the court found in its final ruling.
Tát was able to run again as a candidate because, based on legal interpretations and resolutions adopted by the Ministry of the Interior, she remains under probation for her suspended jail time, and because the special election created a new office in which her conviction doesn’t disqualify her candidacy. [HVG]