When elections become business: 250 registered parties in Hungary
As we already reported, if a party has a candidate in each electoral district it receives 600 million forints (EUR 1.9M) state subsidy for the campaign. As a result, many see the forthcoming elections in April as a perfect opportunity for gaining wealth. According to 24.hu, there are already 250 registered parties in Hungary based on the data of the National Office for the Judiciary. However, this number may even grow. For example, atv.hu wrote about only 231 registered parties two months ago. This number rose to 250 in just two months.
Elections 2018: business for fake parties?
As we wrote before, a party having 27 electoral district candidates and 13,500 supporting signatures can have a national list. As a result, they can receive a 149 million forints (EUR 480,000) subsidy as campaign support. Furthermore, if it has 106 electoral district candidates
the sum goes up to 597 million forints.
If a party does not reach a 1% threshold, it has to pay back its subsidy. However, experience shows that the State Audit Office (SAO) could not make even those parties pay back their subsidies where SAO found irregularities regarding the use of the money.
Therefore, it is not surprising that the number of registered parties has been constantly rising in Hungary lately.
Some numbers regarding the topic:
– Courts registered 70 new parties only last year. Moreover, the number of registered parties is already 2 in 2018.
– What’s more, courts have registered 116 parties since the 2014 elections,
but they have deleted only one.
– In contrast, authorities registered only 23 parties in 2013 and 51 between 2010 and 2014.
– Not surprisingly, the number of newly-found parties peaked first in the 90s, but only 10 of them are still functioning.
A short history of Hungarian parties
If we take those parties which still have representatives in the parliament Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) is the “oldest” one. Courts registered MSZP in November 1989 after a schism in the communist party. Furthermore, the Christian Democratic People’s Party was registered in December 1989 while Fidesz in February 1990.
In fact, authorities registered former government party Hungarian Democratic Forum in 1989, as well. Today their name is Democratic Community of Welfare and Freedom. Also, courts registered Social Democratic Party of Hungary (MSZDP), Independent Smallholders, Agrarian Workers and Civic Party (FKgP) and Hungarian Workers’ Party (Munkáspárt) in 1990.
Among still functioning parties courts registered Hungarian Justice and Life Party (MIÉP) in 1993.
In fact, authorities have to dissolve those parties which do not have
at least one running candidate in two elections one after the other.
According to the law, the final decision is in the hand of the courts following the proposal of the prosecutor.