A Fidesz leader speaks about electoral “juggling” in leaked recording

The president of the Hungarian parliament, Laszlo Kover (Fidesz) said in a leaked recording about the electoral reform: “it’s good when the opposition has no chance”. The opposition says the recording is a proof of electoral fraud, but according to Fidesz there’s nothing unacceptable in it.

On Saturday, Hungarian news site Reflektor (which is close to the green opposition party LMP) published a leaked recording from January 2017, in which Laszlo Kover, the parliament’s president (Fidesz) speaks about the redrawing of electoral districts. The following text is a transcript of the recording:

Kover: It’s good when the opposition has no chance. Of course I’m saying this as a government politician, all government politicians say, or at least think the same. They might not dare to say it out loud. I’m only doing it in this circle. God forbid, that they have a chance. What they say about the electoral reform, I don’t say there was no geographic juggling in it, but only as much as in the previous law, created by the Socis in the ’90s. We didn’t do anything, we don’t do anything and don’t even plan to do anything others didn’t do before us in the last 26 years. So if the democracy wasn’t in danger before then it’s not in danger now either.

– So between two elections the government has basically absolute power?

Kover: Within the legal framework, yes. Of course. (…)

– It’s Fidesz who makes the laws too.

Kover: But when was it different. Governments make the laws.

According to the strongest opposition party Jobbik, the leaked recording badly exposed Fidesz.

“We suspected before too that the corrupt ruling party had one aspect in mind, the interest of its own power when redrawing the electoral districts”

Jobbik spokesman Adam Mirkoczki wrote in his statement on Saturday.

Jobbik thinks that based on the old electoral districts, Fidesz wouldn’t have had the two-third majority in 2014, so they were juggling by redrawing the districts and by abolishing the two-round elections.

“Now Laszlo Kover only confirmed that Fidesz is capable of anything for money and power, let it be electoral fraud or a mendacious propaganda”

Jobbik’s spokesman wrote in his statement.

According to the Socialists Kover’s words in the leaked recording prove an electoral fraud. MSZP’s statement says Kover admitted that with their two-third majority Fidesz created tailor-made electoral districts to undermine the opposition. “It turns out from his words that they can still do any fraud or illegal activity because as long as they are in power, they tell what is legal”, Socialists stressed. They added that “Fidesz doesn’t have the two-third majority anymore, but they have tools to prepare another fraud. And the National Electoral Committee has already begun the work, they do everything to make the system favour the Orban government”.

LMP’s spokesman criticised the Socialists too, saying it turned out that after the change of system, Fidesz and the Socialists depraved Hungarian public life together. Mate Kanasz-Nagy added:

“Laszlo Kover admits that Fidesz-KDNP cheated and manipulated the system to favour the current government but also admits that they had learnt that from the MSZP. It’s clear that in the last 28 years the two big parties together emptied Hungarian democracy, depraved Hungarian public life into the mud”.

At his press conference on Saturday, Fidesz lawmaker Balazs Hidveghi said about the recording: “the opposition accusations about it are nothing more then another attempt of the hopeless parties”. He said there’s nothing unacceptable in the leaked recording, and “the electoral system is just as democratic as it was in 1990, it gives the same chances for everyone and previous disproportions are corrected”.

Hungary Journal
Photo: MTI

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