2013. október 1., kedd

Interim elections ‚irregularities‘

Once again a priceless little chain of events that is more telling than a thousand pages of analysis.

The southern Hungarian town of Baja is otherwise not terribly spectacular (save for the fish soup made there, that is well known throughout the country),  but it now got its 15 minutes under the sun due to a recent interim election for parliament, which has taken place due to the local MP’s decease. Being just half a year ahead of national elections, the voting attracted nationwide interest and major efforts on the parties’ behalf (NB classical polls are not so reliable in Hungary as opposition supporters are known to often shy away from outing themselves) .

Fidesz won the vote tightly before the democratic opposition’s contestant. However the opposition pointed to irregularities and showed video tapes that seemed to prove multiple-voting and organized transport of certain voters to the voting stations. Charmingly, Fidesz seems to have outsourced this fine task to its Roma allies ‘Lungo Drom’ (a nationwide Roma organization). Apparently, after all those ambiguities about the role and worth of Roma in Hungarian society, Fidesz has found a use for them!

Anyhow, the opposition went before court, which ruled the election be repeated.

Fidesz was quick to interpret the court’s ruling saying no cheating had been identified. Being asked about the irregularities, and whether there would be consequences within Fidesz, the press was told by the head of Fidesz’ parliamentary group to ‘do their campaigning for the opposition elsewhere’.

He added that they would change the electoral law such that the practices in question would not be illegal anymore at the national elections in 2014. He referred to Western European examples naming e.g. Germany and the UK as countries which inspire the said change of law.   

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