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Tag: 2022 elections

Márki-Zay Responds to Direkt36 Report, Explains Campaign Failures

Speaking on ATV’s Egyenes Beszéd program, Péter Márki-Zay, the political opposition’s joint candidate for prime minister, said that he was shocked by an article published by investigative outlet Direkt36 on Tuesday on the reasons for his election defeat and the collapse of the opposition. He was also shocked and hurt to see how many times the heads of the six-party coaltion made decisions behind his back.

He added that business and lobbying interests had tried to influence the campaign, which he attempted to stop. At the same time, Márki-Zay also took responsibility for his election loss.

Well, I’m sure I made a million mistakes.

-he said, in large part because of his inadequate campaign messaging.

Péter Márki-Zay also mentioned that he felt he was the candidate in the primary election least likely to be lumped in with former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, still loathed by large numbers of voters, which is why he won the primary. This is also why Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony withdrew as a primary candidate, but their calculations didn’t work out in the end.

Fidesz then made a campaign about Gyurcsány […] half a year later they were already lumping me in with Gyurcsány […] I was sad to see that Fidesz’s communication capabilities were not only able to make this possible, but that they could make hundreds of thousands of people in this country believe that we would be taking away their children to die in Ukraine.

-said Péter Márki-Zay at the end of the interview. [Index]

Hungarian Absentee Voter Registered to Vote in January, Only Put on Voter Roll After Election

Although a Hungarian citizen in the Netherlands registered with the National Election Office (NVI) in January to be able to vote by mail in the April election, they only received notification of having been put on the voter roll on May 13, reports 444.hu.

This means that four months were needed for NVI to send the notice, so the person was obviously unable to take part in the April 3 parliamentary elections. The voter did not even receive the necessary ballot package to vote by mail.

When the voter complained about the delay on April 1, they only received a generic response about “delivering ballot packages to registered foreign voters.” [HVG]

Péter Márki-Zay: Some Opposition Parties Don’t Want to Overthrow Fidesz

Péter Márki-Zay thinks that boycotting the opening session of Parliament on Monday would have been an excellent opportunity for Hungary’s opposition parties to protest the lack of democracy and freedom of the press in the country, according to a video the former nominee for prime minister livestreamed on Sunday evening.

At the moment, only Ákos Hadházy will boycott Monday’s inaugural session of Parliament, while Momentum MPs will leave the room after taking the oath of office.

Although the opposition’s former nominee for prime minister did not name any names, he also had some sharp words in his nearly hour-and-a-half-long video for several parties he worked with in the campaign:

There are parties that haven’t uncovered any Fidesz corruption over the past four years. There are parties that only took part in the opposition campaign with hems and haws, who didn’t want to give money to it, didn’t want to give experts to it, only campaigned at ‘half-steam,’ who were perfectly satisfied with getting as many seats in Parliament as they could, and then get as much money as they could.

These parties (…) do not want to overthrow Viktor Orbán.

-stated Péter Márki-Zay. [Telex]

Jobbik Unknown to Take Péter Márki-Zay’s Seat in Parliament

The six-party democratic opposition coalition has decided to give Péter Márki-Zay’s seat in Parliament to Jobbik’s Noémi Végh, who is next in line on the opposition’s joint party list.

Márki-Zay, the opposition’s candidate for prime minister, won a seat in Parliament from the party list, but indicated after the elections that he wouldn’t accept it and instead keep his current job as mayor of Hódmezővásárhely. The opposition politician later indicated that he wanted Bernadett Szél to take his place.

444 was unable to find out anything substantial about Noémi Végh after looking for information about her online. [444]

Five Suspects Hauled into Court for Forging Endorsements

Five people appeared in court in suspicion of breaking the election law, announced the Prosecutor General’s Office. Three parliamentary candidates were charged with falsifying endorsement signature sheets in Komárom-Esztergom County’s 3rd electoral district. All of the suspects have declared their innocence.

According to the office, two of the aspiring candidates were unable to come up with enough endorsement signatures to get on the ballot, while the third suspect did manage to get on the ballot, managing to get at least 500 valid signatures.

The statement did not reveal which parties the candidates were members of. [HVG]

Three-Fourths of Opposition Voters Believe Gyurcsány Hurts Their Electoral Chances

Commissioned by 21 Research Center, the Iránytű Institue conducted a poll as to voters’ thoughts on the reasons for another two-thirds victory by Fidesz.

Among the questions were whether it would increase the opposition’s chances if Ferenc Gyurcsány retired from politics. Their research found that three-fourths of non-government voters felt that it would increase the opposition’s chances if the former prime minister was out of the picture.

But perhaps more surprising was that even 42% of DK voters agreed with this. Iránytű’s analysis showed that although DK voters like their party’s president, they understand that his presence turns off many voters and makes it impossible to reach certain people. [Népszava]

Replacements for Dobrev and Karácsony in Parliament Announced

Although MEP Klára Dobrev from DK and Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony won seats in Parliament on the basis of the joint opposition party list, they’ve decided to keep their current jobs and not serve as Members of Parliament.

The National Election Commission (NVB) announced that Bernadett Bakos, a member of the Kőbánya local municipality from LMP, will take Dobrev’s seat, while Karácsony’s mandate will be filled by Rebeka Szabó, a fellow member of Karácsony’s Dialogue party who came up short as an individual candidate in Pest County.

It is not yet known who will take Péter Márki-Zay’s seat in Parliament, as the united opposition list leader has also decided to remain as mayor of Hódmezővásárhely instead of becoming an MP. [HVG]

MPs from Party List Accept Official Credentials

MPs who won seats in Parliament from a party or nationality list in the April 3 election received their credentials on Wednesday from András Téglási, Chair of the National Election Commission. Viktor Orbán, who headed the joint Fidesz-KDNP party list, was the first to receive his official papers.

The parliamentary election was finalized last Saturday, with the Fidesz-KDNP coalition winning 48 seats from their joint party list, the six-party (Democratic Coalition, Jobbik, LMP, Momentum, MSZP, and Dialogue) opposition coalition winning 38 party list seats, and Our Homeland winning 6 seats from their party list. Hungary’s German nationality also won a single seat in Parliament. [HVG]

Gattyán’s Party Has to Repay 108 Million Ft. in Election Funding

Political parties have until May 1 to repay unused public funds they received for the election, as well as any funds due back to the state for poor showings on their party list or for their individual candidates, writes HVG.

For billionaire György Gattyán’s new Solution Movement (MEMO) party, only seven out of 99 individual candidates got over 2% of the vote, so the party has to repay 108 million Ft. (US $316,000) in election subsidies for its other 92 candidates.

MEMO’s party list, however, got nearly 59,000 votes, or 1.05% of the vote. Reaching the critical 1% threshold means that the party does not have to repay 588 million Ft. ($1.72 million) it received in state funding for its national list. Only 2,807 votes depended on not the party not having to repay this amount. [Magyar Hang]

Parliament to Convene for Inaugural Session on May 2

President János Áder has called the inaugural session of the new National Assembly for 11:00am on May 2, according to a resolution published on the website of the President of Hungary on Tuesday.

The new Parliament must convene within 30 days of the parliamentary elections, as stated in Hungary’s Fundamental Law. [HVG]

Bolsonaro Congratulates Orbán on Election Victory

Several government and religious leaders have congratulated Viktor Orbán in the past few days on Fidesz’s victory in the April 3 elections, including Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, said Bertalan Havasi, head of the Prime Minister’s Press Office to state news agency MTI. [HVG]

Nézőpont: Opposition Voters Blame Gyurcsány and Márki-Zay Instead of United Opposition for Defeat

57% of active voters blame opposition politicians Ferenc Gyurcsány and Péter Márki-Zay alike for the united opposition’s defeat in the April 3 elections, according to a new poll by pro-government polling company Nézőpont, as reported in Magyar Nemzet.

46% of all active voters, and 25% of opposition voters, believe that the six-party opposition alliance was not the reason for the electoral defeat. [Telex]

Election Results Show Opposition Capable of Winning in Small Towns Too

Except for the larger cities of Budapest, Pécs, and Szeged, most of Hungary went for Fidesz in the April 3 parliamentary elections. However, there were a few smaller towns where the united opposition performed relatively well, such as Tapolca, Ajka, Dunaújváros, Budaörs, Nagyatád, and Kazincbarcika, although the towns surrounding these places caused the entire electoral district to go for Fidesz.

One curious location where the opposition won was in the small town of Záhony, located on the Ukrainian-Hungarian border, where Fidesz only got 40% of the vote and was beaten by 11% by the opposition.

The success of the opposition in these places shows that they have a chance to win smaller towns, but they have to do more than just show up once every four years before an election, said political analyst Richárd Szentpéteri Nagy. [Népszava]

Márki-Zay’s new party will run candidates in 2024 European elections

picture of Péter Márki-Zay

Péter Márki-Zay has set a goal of establishing a new European people’s party that will fight corruption and all forms of extremism, and which he hopes will join the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament.

In a new video posted to social media on Easter Sunday, the former prime ministerial candidate for Hungary’s opposition said that we shouldn’t make the mistake of looking for the cause of the huge defeat in the elections two weeks ago.

Essentially, the system that has been built up around us is the reason why this very important project, which I staked my life on, was not able to succeed on April 3.

-said the opposition politician, who believes that the last chance to overthrow Viktor Orbán’s regime has passed. However, anyone who thinks that it is possible to replace this regime in four years’ time also legitimizes the current situation.

Márki-Zay stated that it would take time to process the defeat, as well as find new ways that can move Hungary forward.

Those who have been holding each other’s hands as they now mourn must not let go as they build anew. Communities also have to be strengthened in places where their painful lack of them caused defeat. The talks that began two weeks could be a way out of this crisis.

For Hungary is in crisis.

-said the politician, who claimed that in the past few days, 2,000 people had already applied to join his Kossuth Circles initiative, which he called small circles of freedom that can be used to build the solutions of the future upon. Márki-Zay asked his followers to join this ever-expanding community.

The Kossuth Circles welcome all who want to do something to keep Hungary from being “the poorest, most depopulated, and most corrupt country in the European Union.” To do this, new forms of public expression have to be created, said the mayor of Hódmezővásárhely.

At the end of his video message, Péter Márki-Zay said that his goal was to launch a European people’s party that would take part in the 2024 European Parliament elections.

This party, said the politician, will fight all expressions of corruption and extremism, and will hope to have a home in the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament, while closely cooperating with Márki-Zay’s Everybody’s Hungary Movement and the Kossuth Circles.

[Index][Photo: Péter Márki-Zay / Facebook]

Rejecting complaint by Our Homeland, Curia finalizes election results

picture of Hungarian Curia

The results of the April 3 parliamentary election were officially finalized yesterday when Hungary’s highest court, the Curia, rejected an appeal by the Our Homeland Movement against a ruling on the results of the national list. The results of the individual electoral districts had previously been declared official on April 12.

Our Homeland challenged Thursday’s decision by the National Election Commission (NVB) on the national list results within a day, as given by law. However, the Curia rejected the party’s request to recount the mail-in ballots on the following grounds:

The result of the national list vote is an aggregation of the partial results that have already become final, so its individual parts themselves are no longer subject to debate. They can only be challenged on the basis of an infringement committed when the votes were counted or mandates allocated.

The Curia also rejected a request by Our Homeland to change the NVB resolution, stating that although the request complained of a procedural violation by the National Election Office (NVI), an independent legal remedy is contained in the Electoral Procudure Act that the complainant did not exhaust.

[Népszava][Photo: kuria-birosag.hu]

Opposition wouldn’t have won with a left-wing candidate, says Márki-Zay

picture of Péter Márki-Zay

Hódmezővásárhely Mayor Péter Márki-Zay (pictured), the opposition coalition’s candidate for prime minister this year, characterized the situation regarding the election defeat as if the Hungary of 1989, when the change of regime seemed imminent, had instead regressed back to 1970.

Speaking on Klubrádió, the opposition politician stated that until now, he believed it was possible to win while playing on an football field elevated in favor of Viktor Orbán, under rules he had made, but it has turned out that this is not the case.

Asked whether he saw any flaws in himself, Péter Márki-Zay replied, “Of course.”

I can’t change my style, and I haven’t even tried to.

-said Péter Márki-Zay, adding that “he apologizes for this and everything else” that depended on him.

But he also felt that it was a mistake to believe that they could have won with a candidate from the left, claiming that left-wing voters stuck with them.

If they hadn’t, he said, then the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party would have gotten into Parliament instead of Our Homeland. Right-wing voters were hesitant to cast their vote for a list that included Ferenc Gyurcsány and DK, and quite prominently as well.

These mistakes are dangerous, believes Márki-Zay, because whoever thinks they can win the election with Klára Dobrev or Ferenc Gyurcsány four years from now will be in for a rude awakening.

[Index]

Hodász: Catholic Church would be better off without state funding

picture of András Hodász

It’s unspoken but understood in the Hungarian Catholic Church that the clergy don’t really take part in the election campaign, but if they do, it’s in favor of Fidesz, Catholic priest András Hodász (pictured) told Valász Online about whether priests were allowed to take a side in the election.

In a Good Friday interview with the news site, Hodász also said that those on the “Christian-national side” blew a fuse when they saw that he had been photographed with Peter Márki-Zay, but not when some of his fellow priests had been featured on Fidesz flyers recommending the party’s candidate.

A clear formula would be better. Or a decision that we stay out of party politics and no priests promote any candidate, or everyone can support whoever their heart tells them too, and promote them if they wish. Let’s say that even then I wouldn’t campaign for a specific party. Especially not in a church.

-he said.

The interview also touched on Father Gergő Bese’s statements in support of Fidesz for Budapest’s Zugliget neighborhood. Hodász believes that if Bese, in a community house and without wearing his garments, had said that he supported the ruling party for this or that reason, the priest would have had no problem with it. “But in the church, by the altar… I don’t think this was fortunate,” he commented.

In response to Bese’s argument that funding for churches would dry up if the opposition won the election, Hodász said:

Hallelujah! If only. It would be so good for the church! This is certainly the heart of the problem. Whoever I debate with about the relationship between Christianity and politics, I always get this as their argument. But we do get the money! What kind of morality is this? What kind of gospel? Where does it say in the Bible that stolen money is only stolen until we get some of it?

-asked the Catholic priest.

[HVG]

Three out of ten opposition voters believed Fidesz propaganda about Péter Márki-Zay

picture of Péter Márki-Zay

The government’s unsubstantiated and flat-out false allegations about the political opposition during the campaign were so successful that even a significant number of opposition voters believed them, reports HVG360 on the results of a study by the Dimenzió Media Foundation.

A representative poll conducted in late March showed that a wide range of voters had encountered false political messages, but could not be convinced as to how real they were.

The results showed that, among other things, 30% of opposition voters believed that Péter Márki-Zay would lead Hungary into war. And those not attached to a specific party gave twice as much credit to the government’s character assassination attempts on the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate.

The poll sample also made clear that Hungarians’ right to be properly informed without influence has become seriously damaged since 2010. As Ferenc Vicsek, one of the authors of the report, put it:

It’s impossible to talk about free and democratic elections in a place where a significant portion of citizens, the proportion that significantly influences the election, are not exposed to the messages of some participants in a political competition, including those that refute the false statements said about them. The fact that these refutations do not even reach some voters is visible proof of how uniquely asymmetrical the Hungarian media system is.

The research did not take a look at those who had encountered responses to Fidesz’s claims, nor how those who had exposure to differing viewpoints eventually decided which ones were true. As a result, it cannot be determined to what extent these allegations influenced the final election results.

[Népszava][Photo: Péter Márki-Zay / Facebook]

Curia upholds fine against human rights NGO for campaigning to invalidate votes

picture of person invalidating vote

Hungary’s highest court, the Curia, has rejected a request for review of a fine levied on the Background Society by the National Election Commission (NVB). NVB imposed a 3 million Ft. (US $8,600) fine against the human-rights NGO for its campaign to encourage voters to invalidate the government’s child protection referendum, reported the state news agency.

NVB, after receiving a complaint, ruled that the Background Society had violated the provisions relating to the proper right to exercise the Election Law in good faith when it encouraged voters to invalidate their referendum ballots.

The election board claimed that the referendum campaign should not be intended to incite voters to cast an invalid vote, “because this not only tears apart, but also breaks through the constitutional goal of a direct exercise of power and the legislative will behind it.” NVB stated that this act therefore constitutes an abusive exercise of the law, and obliged the Background Company to pay a 3 million Ft. fine.

The NGO then filed a petition for judicial review with the Curia, arguing that urging voters to legally cast an invalid vote was not at all contrary to the purpose of referendum-related campaign activity, and therefore not contrary to the purpose of the referendum campaign.

However, the Curia rejected the request for review without a substantive examination on Wednesday, noting that “the submission [by the Background Society] did not contain a substantive argument, and did not indicate the specific context upon which it based NVB’s decision as infringing.”

[Népszava][Image: Amnesty International Magyarország / Facebook]

Karácsony: rule of law itself not enough to win over a majority of Hungarians

picture of Gergely Karácsony

Although everyone on the opposition side is trying to evade responsibility for the huge election loss, Gergely Karácsony (pictured) hopes that they will start asking themselves certain questions, the mayor of Budapest told Telex.

For heaven’s sake, we failed massively. So anyone from the opposition who doesn’t have a sense of responsibility after that, who doesn’t ask themselves questions, or who feels they did everything right is, I think, a psychopath.

-the mayor told the news portal.

Karácsony also expects the political struggles within the opposition over the next two years to decide the leader of the alliance.

The mayor said it was a mistake to have made the election a “Fidesz – not Fidesz” choice, as undecided voters would only cast their vote for the opposition if they could see that the democratic parties had a vision for the future that went beyond just disavowing Fidesz.

He also pointed out that the opposition’s message turned elitist in the course of events, not because they didn’t recognize the situation for what it was, but because there was a consensus among the parties on these points. As he stated:

The problem was that what the opposition had to say was fundamentally important to many people, myself included – such as belonging to the West, and a democratic framework within the rule of law. But if these ideas alone were able to attract a majority of Hungarian society, then Viktor Orbán would not have been prime minister for the past 12 years.

For voters, democracy is not an abstract concept but a synonym for a secure livelihood, and Karácsony believes the opposition did not have an answer to this.

[HVG]