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Fresh evidence of #Hungary vote-rigging raises concerns of ‘fraud’ in upcoming European elections, #openDemocracy and #UnhackDemocracyEurope research reveals



Fresh evidence of major malpractice in the Hungarian elections last year has been uncovered by a new investigation by Unhack Democracy Europe and openDemocracy – and raises “serious” concerns about the integrity of next week’s European parliamentary elections.

A new report reveals new evidence that hundreds of voters were bussed in from Ukraine to support the ruling party, Fidesz. It also includes testimony from election agents that voters were bribed and threatened, that a vote tally was altered by counting agents and that Fidesz’s super-majority was announced before malfunctioning counting software had been fixed.

The new research is based on 110 online testimonies and 50 interviews with election agents, detailed analysis of vote numbers, the compilation of local media coverage in Ukraine, Serbia, Romania and Hungary, and mathematical analysis of public data.

The research “calls into question the result of the vote – and the supermajority it gave to Fidesz”, according to professor Gábor Tóka, election expert at the Central European University.

Other allegations in the report include evidence that the Hungarian National Election Office appears to have given out inconsistent numbers when reporting how many people were on the electoral roll, and that thousands of absentee ballots seem to have disappeared, while thousands more arrived with envelopes which appeared to have been opened.

Tóka said: "This research calls into question the ability of Hungary's official bodies to deliver a fair and transparent election. As we approach the European elections next week, international observers should pay close attention to what's happening in Hungary".

Commenting on these findings, Kim Lane Scheppele, Professor of International Affairs at Princeton University said:

“These new reports of election irregularities add a great deal to what we knew already.  The UnHack Democracy research now shows that if the election had been properly run – even under his rigged rules – Orbán could not have regained his two-thirds majority.

“It is especially disturbing that the election officials out in the polling places reported so many problems reporting and certifying results. And of course, the suspicious collapse of the election office computer, followed by the election office announcing the overwhelming result for Fidesz nonetheless, always looked suspicious. Now we know what was happening behind the scenes. The vote count was plagued with so many different irregularities that the end result cannot be trusted.

“European elections are next weekend, and the same election office that ran a tainted election last year will be once again tallying the results. Should Europe trust the European election in Hungary now that it has been established beyond a reasonable doubt that the Hungarian government cannot run a free and fair election?”


Iranian Opposition rally in front of US embassy in Brussels to ask US and EU for a firm policy towards Iranian regime



Following the G7 summit in London, Brussels hosts the NATO summit with US and EU leaders. It is the first trip of President Joe Biden outside the US. Meanwhile, the Iran deal negotiations have started in Vienna and despite the international efforts to return Iran and the US to compliance with the JCPOA, Iranians regime showed no interest to return to its commitments under JCPOA context. In the recent IAEA report, important concerns have been raised that the Iranian regime failed to address.

The Iranian diaspora, supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in Belgium, held a rally today (14 June) in front of the US embassy in Belgium. They held posters and banners with the picture of Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition movement who has declared a non-nuclear Iran in her 10-point plan for the free and democratic Iran.

In their posters and slogans, Iranians asked the US and the EU to work harder to hold the mullahs’ regime accountable for its human rights violations too. The protesters emphasized the need for a decisive policy by the US and the European countries to harness the mullahs’ quest for a nuclear bomb, stepped up repression at home, and terrorist activities abroad.

According to the new IAEA report, despite the previous agreement, the clerical regime refuses to answer IAEA questions on four disputed sites and (to kill time) has postponed further talks until after its presidential election. According to the report, the regime's enriched uranium reserves have reached 16 times the limit allowed in the nuclear deal. The production of 2.4 kg of 60% enriched uranium and about 62.8kg of 20% enriched uranium are of grave concern.

IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi said: Despite agreed terms, “After many months, Iran has not provided the necessary explanation for the presence of the nuclear material particles…We are facing a country that has an advanced and ambitious nuclear program and is enriching Uranium very close to weapons-grade level.”

Grossi’s remarks, also reported by Reuters today, reiterated: “The lack of clarification of the agency’s questions regarding the accuracy and integrity of Iran’s Safeguard Declaration will seriously affect the agency’s ability to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”

Maryam Rajavi (pictured), the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said that the recent report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the remarks by its Director-General once again show that to guarantee its survival, the clerical regime has not abandoned its atomic bomb project. It also shows that to buy time, the regime has continued its policy of secrecy to mislead the international community. At the same time, the regime is blackmailing its foreign interlocutors into lifting sanctions and ignoring its missile programs, export of terrorism, and criminal meddling in the region.

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Ex-EU Brexit negotiator Barnier: UK reputation at stake in Brexit row




Head of the Task Force for Relations with the UK, Michel Barnier attendsthe debate on EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement during the second day of a plenary session at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium April 27, 2021. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS

Michel Barnier, the European Union's former Brexit negotiator, said on Monday (14 June) that the reputation of the United Kingdom was at stake regarding tensions over Brexit.

EU politicians have accused British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of not respecting engagements made regarding Brexit. Growing tensions between Britain and the EU threatened to overshadow the Group of Seven summit on Sunday, with London accusing France of "offensive" remarks that Northern Ireland was not part of the UK. Read more

"The United Kingdom needs to pay attention to its reputation," Barnier told France Info radio. "I want Mr Johnson to respect his signature," he added.

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Parliament president calls for a European Search and Rescue Mission



European Parliament President David Sassoli (pictured) has opened a high-level interparliamentary conference on managing migration and asylum in Europe. The conference focused particularly on the external aspects of migration. The president said: “We have chosen to discuss today the external dimension of migration and asylum policies because we know that only by tackling the instability, crises, poverty, human rights violations that occur beyond our borders, will we be able to address the root causes that push millions of people to leave. We need to manage this global phenomenon in a human way, to welcome the people that knock on our doors every day with dignity and respect.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on migration patterns locally and worldwide and has had a multiplier effect on the forced movement of people around the world, especially where access to treatment and healthcare is not guaranteed. The pandemic has disrupted migration pathways, blocked immigration, destroyed jobs and income, reduced remittances, and pushed millions of migrants and vulnerable populations into poverty.
“Migration and asylum are already an integral part of the external action of the European Union. But they must become part of a stronger and more cohesive foreign policy  in the future.
“I believe it is our duty first of all to save lives. It is no longer acceptable to leave this responsibility only to NGOs, which perform a substitute function in the Mediterranean. We must go back to thinking about joint action by the European Union in the Mediterranean that saves lives and tackles traffickers. We need a European search and rescue mechanism at sea, which uses the expertise of all actors involved, from Member States to civil society to European agencies.
“Second, we must ensure that people in need of protection can arrive in the European Union safely and without risking their lives. We need humanitarian channels to be defined together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. We must work together on a European resettlement system based on common responsibility. We are talking about people who can also make an important contribution to the recovery of our societies affected by the pandemic and demographic decline, thanks to their work and their skills.
“We also need to put in place a European migration reception policy. Together we shoulddefine the criteria for a single entry and residence permit, assessing the needs of our labor markets at a national level. During the pandemic, entire economic sectors came to a halt due to the absence of immigrant workers. We need regulated immigration for the recovery of our societies and for the maintenance of our social protection systems.”

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