Daniel Freund

4. April 2022 Anti-Corruption

After the Hungarian elections: Orban model must not set a precedent!

Viktor Orban remains in power after the parliamentary elections in Hungary. The incumbent prime minister’s Fidesz party secured another two-thirds majority in Parliament on Sunday (3 April). In the run-up to Sunday’s election, reports piled up about the Orban government’s possible manipulation of the election. A first report by the OSCE-ODIHR Election Observation Mission criticized shady campaign financing, unbalanced media coverage and the use of state resources in the election campaign.

Daniel Freund, Rule of Law Mechanism negotiator for the Greens in the Budgetary Control Committee, comments:

Viktor Orban won an election that was not held according to European standards. State coffers were misused for the election campaign. A large part of the media in Hungary has exclusively disseminated the government’s line and systematically excluded the opposition from its coverage. The OSCE’s independent election observers rightly speak of a tilted playing field that massively favored the government in this election campaign. When the opposition has to deal with a partisan referee and play uphill, victory is almost impossible. Viktor Orban has created conditions in Hungary that make it de facto impossible to vote him out.” 

“The EU Commission must now prevent Viktor Orban from further extending his autocratic rule in Hungary. There are other top politicians in the EU who are striving for Orban-style election victories and are prepared to throw the rules of democracy overboard. The EU Commission must make it very clear: This anti-democratic model cannot set a precedent in Europe! Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) must finally impose rule of law sanctions against Hungary. It is unacceptable that European taxpayers’ money is misused to buy elections and build autocratic systems!”

The new interim report of the OSCE election observers is available on the OSCE website.