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Fine threatens Jobbik’s Hungarian election campaign

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Fine threatens Jobbik’s Hungarian election campaign

Post Magyar Lány on Fri 8 Dec - 19:15

Fine threatens Jobbik’s Hungarian election campaign

The party could be forced to lay off all its employees and cease campaign activities ahead of the spring election.
By LILI BAYER 12/7/17, 5:30 PM CET Updated 12/8/17, 10:23 AM CET

BUDAPEST — The far-right Jobbik party threatened to withdraw from Hungary’s upcoming election after the State Audit Office said the party received illegal campaign financing assistance.

The office can now impose a fine that could wipe out the party’s finances.

The State Audit Office could force Jobbik to pay a fine of 660 million forint (over €2 million).

“We have stepped into a new era,” Márton Gyöngyösi, a member of parliament and one of Jobbik’s leading figures, told POLITICO in a phone call on Thursday. “We have not seen anything like this over the past 27 years … It is clearly an attempt to prevent Jobbik from running in the election.”

The fine exceeds the amount of money currently in the party’s coffers, raising questions about whether the party will be forced to lay off all its employees and cease campaign activities.

“We won’t have money to publish campaign materials, to rent places for forums, to buy advertising,” said Gyöngyösi, adding that the State Audit Office did not follow normal procedures and prevented Jobbik officials from submitting certain documents relevant for the investigation.

Jobbik is currently seen as the ruling Fidesz party’s most serious opposition. The party has made an effort to shed its far-right, xenophobic reputation and appeal to more moderate voters ahead of the spring election.

Fidesz enjoys the support of 36 percent of all adults and 55 percent of decided voters, according to a September study by pollster Median. Twelve percent of all constituents and 16 percent of decided voters support Jobbik, while 31 percent of the population is undecided. An amalgamation of over half a dozen left and liberal-leaning parties each poll in the single digits.

Fidesz has repeatedly portrayed Jobbik over the past months as a corrupt institution. Lajos Simicska, a wealthy businessman and former close ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, has thrown his support behind Jobbik.

“This is a technical, legal issue,” said Orbán when asked in an October radio interview about a pro-government think tank’s assertion that the prosecutor’s office could request the dissolution of Jobbik as a party if it fails to cooperate with the State Audit Office.

“There’s a regulation which stipulates how the operations of parties must be audited and what obligations parties have in this context. I’ll repeat: the laws should be observed, and then there will be no problems,” Orbán said.  A spokesman for the Hungarian government did not respond to questions for this article.

But Jobbik’s supporters see the State Audit Office’s move as part of an ongoing government campaign to weaken its opposition.

“Jobbik’s leadership expected something like this, but that doesn’t mean they could prepare for it,” said a person with knowledge of Jobbik’s internal workings, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The campaign continues, the party won’t give up its fight … Jobbik supporters are angry, and this unprecedented attack can activate its members and voter base.”

Magyar Lány

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Re: Fine threatens Jobbik’s Hungarian election campaign

Post Neon Knight on Fri 8 Dec - 21:35

Magyar Lány, do you think this is a conspiracy against Jobbik?


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The vision never dies, life's a never ending wheel
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Neon Knight
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Re: Fine threatens Jobbik’s Hungarian election campaign

Post Magyar Lány on Fri 8 Dec - 21:41

@Neon Knight wrote:Magyar Lány, do you think this is a conspiracy against Jobbik?

Jobbik did irregular things, but yes I do. Jobbik is the second popular party here, the government is afraid of them. Btw. Jobbik policy is far from being democratic, Vona would be worse than Orbán.

Nothing similar happened here before, that's why I find it strange.

Magyar Lány

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