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Tag: Fidesz

Navracsics and Lázár Return for Another Term in Orbán’s Fifth Government

The ministers for Viktor Orbán’s fifth government were announced on Friday, with four ministers from the previous government departing and five new ones arriving.

Since 2010, 28 ministers have served in Fidesz-led governments, but only four of these have been women. Justice Minister Judit Varga will be the only woman among 14 ministers in the new government. In addition, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén will be the only minister coming from smaller coalition party KDNP.

Two politicians who had served in previous Orbán governments are returning for another round: former EU Commissioner and Justice Minister Tibor Navracsics will be a minister responsible for land development and the use of EU funds, while former head of the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár will lead the Construction and Investment Ministry.

Among those departing the government are Minister of Human Capacities Miklós Kásler, Defense Minister Tibor Benkő, and Minister for National Wealth Andrea Mager. [Telex]

The Myth of Disillusioned Fidesz Voters

“There is a broad consensus among analysts who have evaluated the election results that the group of voters targeted by the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate, Péter Márki-Zay, is essentially non-existent,” writes Magyar Hang. “In other words, we cannot talk about disillusioned Fidesz voters, so a campaign based on addressing them was doomed to failure.”

“My guess, which is confirmed by personal experience, is a more nuanced picture. Bourgeois-conservative voters who are explicitly repelled by how Fidesz’s power machinery operates, and by its shift to a radical right-wing position, have largely left the ruling party. But they have been replaced by new voters, mainly from smaller settlements in Hungary.” [Magyar Hang]

Fidesz website knocked offline in apparent cyberattack

picture of anonymous hackers

Ruling party Fidesz released a statement on Wednesday claiming to be a victim of an international cyberattack that took down their website.

According to the statement, the attack cut off one of the most important communication channels for the party, right as the election campaign nears the end. Such an attack is clear evidence of election interference, Fidesz claimed.

As quoted by state news agency MTI, the Fidesz statement accused the left-wing of “taking every means to silence opinions in favor of peace and security,” but provided no evidence that domestic political forces were involved in the act. Fidesz.hu appears to be accessible at the moment.

There was no word on whether the website fidesz.ru, maintained by opposition party Momentum, was also taken down in a similar cyberattack.

[Magyar Hang][Photo: Tima Miroshnichenko / Pexels]

Republikon: Fidesz slightly ahead, but within margin of error

picture of Hungarian Parliament

A new Republikon poll shows Fidesz with a slight lead, Our Homeland and MKKP still not reaching the minimum 5% threshold to get into Parliament, and the results of the election likely to come down to turnout, reports Telex.

Among those who state which party they’ll vote for, 49% of respondents chose Fidesz compared to 46% for the united opposition. Just 3% of this group plan to vote for Our Homeland, and 2% throw their support behind the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party (MKKP).

The Republikon poll revealed an even closer race among all voters, with Fidesz edging out the six-party opposition coalition United for Hungary by just 2 percentage points (41-39%).

Since the previous poll in February, ruling party Fidesz has increased its support by 1 percentage point among both definite party voters and all voters, while support for the opposition remained unchanged.

The results suggest that the election may come down to which side is able to make a stronger appeal to undecided voters, and is better able to mobilize their voters to come out to the polling stations on April 3.

In addition to party preferences, the poll also asked about specific issues. According to the results:

  • 57% said that Hungary’s allies were in the West instead of the East. While 16% disagree with this, even a small majority of Fidesz voters were more pro-Western.
  • 63% believe Hungary has a duty to help the Ukrainians even if it harms the economy, while 19% were opposed to this.
  • 46% of respondents are in favor of Hungary adopting the euro, with 31% against it. A majority of Fidesz voters prefer to keep the forint as the country’s official currency, but 79% of opposition supporters want Hungary to join the Eurozone.

The representative poll was conducted by Republikon Institute between March 16-18, and has an estimated margin of error of 3.2%.

[HVG][Photo: Krisztian Kormos / Pexels]

Hungarians prefer a change of gov’t over keeping the current one

picture of opposition leaders on stage

In a new Publicus Institute poll commissioned by Népszava, 42% of Hungarians want the united opposition coalition to take over leadership of the country after the election, while 39% hope ruling party Fidesz will continue governing.

However, when asked which party they intended to vote for in the April 3 parliamentary elections, 32% of respondents did not give a definite answer.

Népszava claims that this apparent uncertainty explains why the Fidesz-KDNP coalition is expected to win 33% of the vote to 31% for the united opposition, despite the fact that a relative majority is hoping for a change of government. All other parties register only a few percentage points of support, and therefore would not gain parliamentary representation.

The war in Ukraine may have caused a shift in party allegiances: on February 24, the day the war broke out, Fidesz was up 5% over the united opposition. But this latest poll shows the ruling party now only has a 2% advantage, having fallen to 33% support versus United for Hungary at 31%.

444 reports that the IDEA Institute also showed a similar result in its latest poll.

[444]

Fidesz experimenting with anti-Russia messaging, but faces backlash from party faithful

picture of Katalin Novák

“Over the last three weeks, since the outbreak of the war between Russian and Ukraine, the governing parties have apparently been experimenting with finding the best message, and trying out several types accordingly,” Andrea Virág, strategic director and political analyst at the Republikon Institute, told Népszava.

The top leadership, including Viktor Orbán, remains distant, emphasizing the importance of peace, while actors close to Fidesz have said something quite different, thus far typically a pro-Russian narrative. Now the other extreme has emerged, which is not a surprise as the government parties are continuously testing the public to see what society can bear and where the greater demand lies.

On Thursday night, Fidesz messaging featured a few notable anti-Russian voices:

Go home, Russians! Let there be peace!

-wrote Zsolt Németh, the Fidesz chair of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, on Facebook.

While certainly not the first Fidesz-KDNP politician to publicly advocate for peace in Ukraine, the post by well-known pro-Western and Atlanticist Németh struck a rather new tone about Russian aggression in Ukraine.

And to show that it was not an isolated incident, President-elect Katalin Novák also put up a post (pictured above) a few hours before that which simply said:

The war launched by Russia is indefensible and inexplicable.

It is also noteworthy that on the seventh day after her election as Hungary’s new head of state, it just occurred to Novák then to express her opinion on Russian aggression, which prior to that was apparently not as important as posting on other topics, such as the re-opening gala of the Opera House on March 12.

Németh’s and Novák’s posts appear to have caused a great deal of consternation among pro-government voters, based on the angry comments that appeared on them. The government’s decade-long propaganda has had a strong effect on its base, and the minds of their faithful cannot be changed overnight.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place?

Republikon’s Virág states that the war has put Fidesz into a difficult situation, since 12 years have passed since the party converted their previous strong anti-Russian voting base into supporters of Russia and the “Eastern opening” initiative. But now, for domestic and foreign policy reasons, the government is unable to pursue a pro-Russian policy, which is causing confusion among their most devoted supporters.

But they can’t be friendly to Ukraine either, precisely because of the propaganda of the last 12 years. So they remain a ‘party of peace,’ but they are also naturally looking for a new direction. One way to test this is through these statements by Zsolt Németh and Katalin Novák.

-noted Andrea Virág.

Fidesz bases everything on internal measurements. If they saw that they could win by being strongly pro-Western, they would do it. But Fidesz leadership senses that their base is divided over the issue of Ukraine and the Russian invasion.

-stated Patrik Szicherle, an analyst at Political Capital, referring to a Publicus poll that found 44% of Fidesz voters view the Russian attack as an act of aggression.

This is why, the analyst believes, the ruling party has settled on multi-level messaging: while their main message has been one of a “peace party,” news of the Russian invasion appear on various channels of Fidesz propaganda exactly as if it were “information” that came from the Kremlin.

[Népszava]

Happy March 15! Parties gather to celebrate Hungary’s national holiday

picture of Power to the People rally

Hungary’s political forces are rallying their supporters together today to celebrate the country’s national holiday, which commemorates the Hungarian Revolution of 1848-49.

The governing Fidez-KDNP parties are meeting in Kossuth Square, where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is delivering a speech. Their supporters are also holding a Peace March under the organization of the Civil Unity Forum (CÖF).

The political opposition alliance, United for Hungary, is also holding a large rally on the other side of the Danube near Freedom Bridge in Buda, along the Technical University Riverside Drive, starting at 3pm.

The following people are scheduled to speak at the opposition’s gathering, “Power to the People”:

• Gábor Iványi, pastor
• Anna Donáth (Momentum)
• Gergely Karácsony (Dialogue)
• Péter Jakab (Jobbik)
• Erzsébet Schmuck (LMP)
• Bertalan Tóth (MSZP)
• Klára Dobrev (DK)
• Donald Tusk, President of the European People’s Party
• Péter Márki-Zay, United for Hungary candidate for prime minister

Singer Orsolya Burján, and actors Zsolt Nagy and Csaba Polgár are also scheduled to perform at the oppositon’s event, which is being hosted by actors Mónika Ullmann and Zsolt Nagy.

[Magyar Hang][Photo: supporters of United for Hungary rally in Budapest, March 15, 2022]

Fidesz holding party retreat right when EU court decision expected next week

picture of Viktor Orbán

Fidesz is planning to hold a retreat for its parliamentary group members next week in Balatonfüred, just as the European Court of Justice will be announcing its ruling on the rule of law mechanism, writes Atv.hu.

The season-opening meeting for Hungary’s ruling party will be held before the spring session of Parliament starts on February 21. If Viktor Orbán (pictured) speaks on the evening of the first day at the gathering, as he traditionally does, then it will fall on the same day as the European Court of Justice’s expected ruling on February 16, when the panel will decide whether the rule of law mechanism, which has provoked the Prime Minister’s ire in recent days, conforms with EU law.

The Prime Minister believes that Hungary’s sovereignty may be threatened by the EU legislation, which would take rule of law considerations into account when determining how funds are distribted to Member States. If EU members accept this notion, “they will push this idea to the limit,” the Prime Minister stated on Kossuth Rádió last Friday.

The EU is working to deprive Member States of as many rights as possible, claims Orbán, so that “Brussels can subsume national law through stealthy amendments.” Using the Family Law Act as an example, Orbán said that if Hungary does not amend it the way those in Brussels want him to, the country will not receive any money.

The Prime Minister believes that this practice is also detrimental to the interests of other Member States, which is why concerned states must “stand on their hind legs” and not permit their national rights to be taken away.

This Saturday, February 12, Viktor Orbán will give a speech at the Castle Garden Bazaar to open the election campaign, exactly 50 days before Hungary goes to vote in parliamentary elections on April 3.

[Telex]

Fidesz “Mini Feri” ads hit with DMCA takedown, removed from YouTube

picture of campaign ad

Independent MP Ákos Hadházy noticed that the pro-government “Mini Feri” campaign ads parodying the Austin Powers movie series had been hit with a DMCA takedown order and removed from YouTube.

This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Warner Bros. Entertainment.

-reads a screenshot Hadházy posted on his Facebook page after he tried to access it on YouTube. He added the comment:

The pitiful thieves have once again been busted.. The primitive “Mini Feri” video was stolen from Austin Powers without Warner’s permission.

News channel RTL previously asked Warner Bros. if it had agreed to let Fidesz and the Civil Unity Forum (CÖF) use scenes from the Mike Myers films in its ads, but the company didn’t comment at the time, noted the opposition politician.

Since then, says Hadházy, they have begun to silently take down these “embarrassing atrocities,” while they can still be seen on smaller video sites “for whoever has the stomach for it.”

They’ve stolen thousands of billions of forints, but are stingy when it comes to a few million for film rights.

-added the opposition MP.

The visual design and message in the videos are the same as a poster campaign launched by CÖF and seen around the country. The political parody features former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány portrayed as the “Dr. Evil” character, and opposition prime ministerial candidate Péter Márki-Zay as the character “Mini-Me.”

[Népszava, RTL]

Fidesz sending out letters to Hungarians asking for campaign donations

picture of Viktor Orbán

Fidesz began sending out fundraising letters on Monday with a request for donations from Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, according to an article in Magyar Nemzet. The party confirmed the news from the pro-government paper to HVG.

We have entered an age full of dangers, where we have to deal with the epidemic, greater levels of illegal migration, and increasingly aggressive attempts to interfere by Brussels and the Soros Empire all at the same time.

-reads the letter from Viktor Orbán.

The prime minister then calls on voters to contribute to Fidesz’s “fight” and support the party’s campaign if their means allow. The letter also includes a yellow postal remittance check, which donors can use at any post office to send cash directly into the party’s coffers.

Fidesz wrote a similar letter to supporters before the 2018 parliamentary elections. As HVG wrote at the time, the significance of this is more psychological than monetary, as the belief is that voters will be more attached to a given party and more certain to vote on election day if they have given financially supported that party.

[HVG][Photo: miniszterelnok.hu]

Gov’t action on environment doesn’t match its words, says LMP

picture of Erzsébet Schmuck

Although the government is using all means necessary to “paint itself green,” there has not been any meaningful change in Fidesz’s environmental policy this year, says the co-chair of LMP-Hungary’s Green Party. In an online press conference on Friday, Elizabeth Schmuck (pictured) promised not only a change of government, but also a true turn towards green priorities next year.

Opposition politicians have complained that the government cabinet is not engaging in a meaningful dialogue with the public about the EU’s climate package, but merely pushes large polluters to pay. At the same time, however, it provides them with hundreds of millions of forints in subsidies.

Schmuck also protested that the “concrete lobby” had not only received financial subsidies, but that legislation had been amended so that nothing would stop it from destroying nature.

Meanwhile, LMP’s legislative proposals on climate change or protecting the environment have fallen on deaf ears, Erzsébet Schmuck said, such as their suggestions for reducing air pollution, “greening” traffic, eradicating energy poverty, or protecting large lakes, among others.

LMP also considers it vital to cooperate with civil organizations, as no change will be possible without them.

However, the green party feels that the government does not understand this, because otherwise it would not have classified their legislative proposal to protect large lakes as a political act, Erzsébet Schmuck stated.

[Index][Photo: LMP-Magyarország Zöld Pártja / Facebook]

Private eyes being hired by Fidesz actors to gather oppo data

picture of person spying

Former secret agents now operating as private investigators have been commissioned by Fidesz-aligned groups to keep tabs on opposition politicians who won the primary elections and gather compromising information on them, writes HVG360.

In such cases, a so-called “operational environmental study” is carried out on the target person without their knowledge. Private investigators obtain information by employing various tricks in such a way that data providers have no idea who or what they are assisting.

Their work may reveal information not only about the person targeted, but also about their family members that could be used in a political campaign to smear them, writes HVG360. A thoroughly-conducted operational environment study can often provide better information about someone’s private life than just tapping their phone.

Surveillance of the target person is also legal if it is carried out in a public place, and the activity is documented there as well. Jobbik President Jakab Péter was recently attacked in the government media for meeting his chief of staff, Enikő Molnár, in an apartment in Buda. Jakab told HVG360 that he did not realize that he was being watched, nor did he detect any hidden cameras.

[Telex]

Timothy Garton-Ash concerned that Fidesz may steal the elections

picture of Timothy Garton-Ash

With a governing coalition emerging in Germany that appears more willing to take action against elements threatening democracy and the rule of law in Eastern Europe as well as human rights and media freedom, it is hard to imagine that the Orbán regime will manage to remain in place for another ten years, British historian Timothy Garton-Ash, professor of European studies at Oxford University, told HVG360.

The historian often talks about the fact that the Hungarian government’s confidence is largely guaranteed by the financial resources of the European Union. On this point, he said that the outcome of the disbursement mechanism could be expected in May or June at the earliest, which would not affect the Hungarian elections in April.

Nevertheless, as a process, it shows that you cannot forever bite with impunity into the hand that feeds you, and Europe will not forever feed those who bite the hands of the European core values ​​enshrined in its laws while putting billions of euros in their pockets at the same time.

-Timothy Garton-Ash stated.

Of the post-communist period, he said that there has been a period of regression for more than ten years, with one crisis on top of another. However, he mentioned:

What we do not see yet is whether we are at the beginning of a new period, with a further decline in democracy, whether we are at the beginning of the advancement of authoritarian powers and extreme nationalism, or whether there has been a turning point and a democratic restoration is about to take place in remaining part of the 2020s. This is not yet clear.

He recalled that he first met Viktor Orbán in 1988:

Even then, we recognized in him one of the most established politicians who stood out among the Central European actors of the age. We were not mistaken. At least in this. On the other hand, we have not seen that he will use his abilities in this direction. The systematic erosion of the democratic system after 2010 would not have taken place without Orbán. I don’t even see a comparable figure in Central European politics right now.

The historian believes that Viktor Orbán is one of, if not the most, influential Hungarian leaders in modern European history:

He is now the symbol of a conservative, ethno-nationalist, xenophobic Europe, celebrated not only by his European comrades overseas but also by right-wing politics and the media there. The question, of course, is whether this will still remain the case throughout the rest of the 2020s.

Garton-Ash, who was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005 by Time magagzine, said he fears the election will be rigged. It is conceivable that if the opposition wins by a small margin, the current authorities would turn this into a close struggle and nevertheless declare Fidesz the winner, Timothy Garton-Ash told HVG 360.

[Index]

Fidesz politician unwilling to elaborate on his frank speech at party congress

picture of Péter Kovács

As previously reported, Fidesz politician Péter Kovács made an honest admission in his speech to the party’s congress over the weekend that they are still waiting for answers from the party to some uncomfortable questions posed by consituents.

RTL Híradó called up Kovács to find out exactly what those questions might be, but the mayor of Budapest’s District XVI was apparently unable to divulge what was on his mind that day, and the discussion featured this exchange with the reporter:

RTL reporter: What are these questions?

Kovács: You would know this better than I.

RTL reporter: I really don’t know what you’re thinking of.

Kovács: Of course you do.

The mayor claimed that the media knows this better than him because they “write about it everyday, and talk about it every day.”

RTL also asked the mayor for an example of the kind of difficult questions constituents ask him, but he would only say that “activists are waiting for Fidesz to clear a few things up.”

When the television news program then asked Péter Kovács if he was thinking of things such as how oligarch Lőrinc Mészáros became enriched through public money, the politician said “Happy guessing” and ended the call.

RTL Híradó also reached out to Fidesz to ask them what kinds of instructions they are providing to activists, but they did not get a response from the party.

[RTL]

Budapest City Council won’t hold extra session on City Hall issue

picture of Budapest City Council

Despite pleas from the Fidesz caucus, the Budapest City Council will not hold an extraordinary session on Wednesday, Nov. 17, as the capital claims that the request was submitted too late.

The Fidesz-KDNP caucus in the capital’s municipal authority wanted to convene an extraordinary general meeting to investigate claims by the media in the past few weeks that City Hall was up for sale.

Representing the group, Zsolt Láng argued that Mayor Gergely Karácsony has been constantly avoiding the topic and speaking around it. “Budapest residents have a right to know the answers to the questions that have arisen in recent weeks,” said the caucus leader, who asked the mayor to convene an extraordinary council meeting without delay, at 9 am on Wednesday morning to “finally begin a substantive fact-finding process.”

Fidesz has asked for only one item on the agenda: to set up a committee to inquire into the matter.

However, the press department of the Mayor’s Office quickly made it clear that no extraordinary general meeting would be held. The department wrote that such initiatives must be submitted three days before the meeting, according to current rules.

The council’s next regular meeting will be next Wednesday, when it will be possible, according to the press department, to discuss putting the Fidesz proposal on the council’s agenda.

“The mayor will say once again at the next meeting of the Budapest City Council that the City Hall building is not for sale,” the Mayor’s Office added.

[Magyar Hang]

Opposition leaders respond to Fidesz party congress

picture of Fidesz party congress 2021

Index takes a look at some responses from the political opposition to the 29th Fidesz Party Congress held on Sunday, starting with an ironic post by Ákos Hadházy on Facebook.

Captioning a photo, the independent MP wrote, “An exciting day, today is the Fidesz Congress. I wonder whether they’ll re-elect the Boss?” The photo Hadházy chose above the caption appeared to be one of a similar party rally in North Korea.

Hadházy can rest easy, the news source reassured him, as the party chose to re-elect Viktor Orbán as its leader after he received 1,061 votes.

For Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony, the party congress reminded him of the Communist era under former dictator János Kádár.

“Now seriously,” the mayor wrote on social media, “How is a Fidesz congress is any different from a [former Hungarian Communist Party] MSZMP convention if the chief is re-elected without a candidate, they reprimand the West and the subversive opposition, and a district council head says they are still waiting for answers to unpleasant questions from party headquarters?”

Independent Representative Bernadett Szél found it hard to believe that Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén could praise the Prime Minister for his management of the epidemic in Hungary, believing he showed the opposite example.

Szél claimed that had she been at the head of governmenet during the pandemic, Hungary wouldn’t have been a world leader in deaths, thousands of incapacitated patients would not have been ejected from hospitals overnight, and testing would have been widespread and free of charge, among other charges.

Tímea Szabó, co-chair of Párbeszéd who was one of the opposition leaders in the fight against building a campus of China’s Fudan University in Hungary, commented unfavorably on Viktor Orbán’s statement that Hungary will no longer be a colony, and that Fidesz will unite the nation.

Szabó noted that Orbán had agreed to a 450 billion Ft. (US $1.40 billion) loan from the Chinese Communist Party to build the Fudan campus in Budapest, which would make the country into a Chinese colony.

[Index]

Fidesz district mayor tells his party they need answers to difficult questions from constituents

picture of Péter Kovács

At the Fidesz Party Congress on Sunday, Budapest District XVI Mayor Péter Kovács gave a surprisingly honest admission about his party in his speech to convention attendees.

Mayor Kovács spoke about how Fidesz could win in the capital, claiming that leftists take money to win every district. He believes that everyone who wants Fidesz to win should knock on the doors of neighbors, acquaintances, and strangers, telling them what they can expect and what their choices are.

But he also told conference attendees, “Of course there will be unpleasant questions, and you must answer those as well. We’re still waiting for Fidesz headquarters to tell us good answers to give to those unpleasant questions, but, my dear friend, if we get those answers, success will be ours.”

The district mayor then urged everyone to get to work, start knocking on doors next spring, and show them the alternatives: “Fidesz or destruction.”

[Népszava]

Fidesz celebrates its achievements at 29th Party Congress

picture of Fidesz congress 2021

“We give and receive blows, but when we get them, it doesn’t always hurt us the most,” began Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in his speech to the 29th Fidesz Congress, which re-elected the Hungarian Prime Minister as its party chair.

The new generation of the party has grown up and arrived, said Orbán, mentioning government ministers Péter Szijjártó, Judit Varga, and Gergely Gulyás, as well as Székesfehérvár Mayor András Cser-Palkovics.

Orbán then said he had accepted another term as party chair because he was “at his best age,” and that his 33-year career in the role thus far was “just a warm-up.”

Fidesz has remained true to itself for decades, stated Orbán, and as a result Hungarians rewarded the party by bringing it to power more times than any other party in recent history. Because of this, Orbán said that “he will do this as long as he can handle it.”

Orbán stated that Fidesz had achieved all of the goals the party set in 2010, when it came to power for the second time after its first term in government between 1998-2002. The Prime Minister noted among other things the creation of one million jobs, putting a focus on families, and protecting pensions, athough he did not elaborate on how these were achieved.

The left and the liberals, on the other hand, are lazy and unable to show any serious achievement, according to Orbán, and their activities are only about telling others how they should live.

Viktor Orbán also spoke about how he believes the Western world is losing out in global competition, a challenge to which Hungarians must also adapt. He said that Hungary needed Korean, Chinese and Turkish schools because these countries will be the dominant nations in the world economy.

Turning to the 2022 parliamentary elections, Orbán said that Fidesz had become an unavoidable political force, which he claims “the post-communists had a chance to do,” but were not able to seize the opportunity. Fidesz has achieved this, he said, because the party has a strong, unified vision.

“The question is whether the social majority behind us will become an electoral majority,” he continued, concluding his speech by calling the election “a fight against Brussels and George Soros.”

[Azonnali][Photo: Viktor Orbán / Facebook]

Fidesz paying students for supposed “activist” work, says MSZP

picture of László Botka

Fidesz employs supposed “activists” to canvass from house-to-house and collect signatures for its “Stop Gyurcsány! Stop Márki-Zay!” petition for 1,200 Ft (US $3.74) per hour, announced the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) at the end of October. MSZP had planted a party member to conduct canvassing work in Győr on behalf of Fidesz, and provided a secretly-recorded video as evidence of its claims.

MSZP said that its evidence proved that workers collecting signatures for Fidesz’ campaign “are paid under the table for this kind of work, avoiding Hungarian tax laws by explaining that they are only ‘activists.'”

Now, left-leaning László Botka, mayor of Szeged (pictured), has posted on social media that he was visited by “a young woman collecting signatures for Csaba Bartók and Fidesz.”

According to Botka, the student workers informed the mayor that she was also getting paid by the hour to conduct her canvassing work.

[444]

Kinga Gál chosen as new Fidesz Vice-President

picture of Kinga Gál

Index is first with the news that Fidesz has chosen Kinga Gál to replace Katatin Novák as the party’s fourth Vice-President at its General Assembly currently taking place, although the news portal cautions that voting has not yet taken place.

The Transylvanian-born Gál represents Hungary in the European Parliament, and will share the role with current Vice-Presidents Lajos Kósa, Gábor Kubatov, and Szilárd Németh as Vice-President, who were re-nominated for the positions in the party.

The party’s assembly also re-nominated Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as Fidesz President.

[Index]