Although Párbeszéd (Dialogue) politician Zsolt Balajti won an election to the municipal council in the town of Isaszeg on Sunday, state news agency MTI did not report on the victory. The opposition party does not believe it was an accidental oversight by MTI.
Knowing the mechanisms of how the Orbán regime operates and the well-documented investigative articles about the news agency’s decision-making processes, Dialogue presumes that MTI deliberately did not publish the result on instructions from above. This procedure seriously violates the officially-declared principle of informing on a balanced, democratic basis. Dialogue calls on the decision-makers to comply with their basic obligations that derive from public service and the freedom of the press.
-the green party wrote on Facebook.
The special election was necessitated when one of Isaszeg’s municipal representatives, DK’s Balázs Barkóczi, became a Member of Parliament this past spring.
In 2019, Barkóczi won by only 9 votes in this district, while the Fidesz candidate won the district in this year’s parliamentary elections. But on Sunday, Dialogue’s Balajti, supported by fellow opposition parties Momentum, MSZP, LMP, and DK, decisively defeated Fidesz candidate Tiborné Prosits in a 150-119 victory.
Apart from Balajti and Prosits, a candidate from the Hungarian Workers’ Party also ran in the election and received a single vote.
In March, investigative outlet Direkt36 revealed, based on leaked internal communication, how the Hungarian government regularly interferes in MTI’s day-to-day operation, and how it distorts the news in line with its own political interests. [Magyar Narancs]