Csaba Czeglédy, a left-wing politician and fixer who is in pre-trial detention for the suspected misappropriation of public funds, has withdrawn his candidacy in Szombathely for a parliamentary seat in favour of the candidate of the Socialist-Párbeszéd alliance.
Czeglédy was approved as an independent MP candidate in March and became eligible for immunity. However, his immunity was later lifted by the National Election Committee (NVB), and a Szeged court ordered that he be placed back into pre-trial detention.
He appealed to the Kúria, Hungary’s supreme court, over that ruling, but his appeal was rejected. Czeglédy also submitted a complaint to the Constitutional Court, which ruled that the NVB’s decision to strip him of his immunity was in line with the constitution.
Czeglédy’s decision to withdraw his candidacy was announced on Wednesday at a press conference by György Ipkovich, the former Socialist mayor of Szombathely.
Czeglédy has called on his supporters to vote for Socialist-Párbeszéd candidate András Nemény, who is also backed by the Democratic Coalition and the Hungarian Liberal Party.
“It is a fact that by stomping on the principle of the rule of law, [ruling] Fidesz prevented me from participating in the campaign in a meaningful way, depriving the local residents of the opportunity to choose,” Czeglédy wrote in a letter published by, among others, news portal Nyugat.hu. “It is an unprecedented crime since Hungary’s democratic transition . for a ruling party to use its power to debase the voting rights of an opposition candidate and their supporters.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the Szeged district court decided to extend Czeglédy’s pre-trial detention by three months. Czeglédy’s attorney has appealed the decision.
featured image: MTI