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

| May 18, 2019

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?”

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Category: A Frontpage, EU, European elections, European Parliament, Hungary

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