Budapest, September 29 (MTI) – A July report by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in Europe on Hungary’s latest general election contains several inaccurate observations, the Center for Fundamental Rights, a think-tank of young lawyers and law students, said today.
The report, prepared by OSCE’s Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, said that the election had been administered in a well-organised way but campaign rules were restrictive, the media biased, and there was a blurred line between the state and political parties in campaign activities which ensured the ruling Fidesz party an unfair advantage.
In a statement, the center said that Hungary’s election laws had been passed well before the election, and the opposition had ample opportunity to put forward their position. The statement also insisted that a system of compensation votes added to the winner did not distort the final result of the election.
The current electoral system is “relatively more disproportionate” than before, but this arose from “changes in the proportions of individual mandates” rather than from the compensations system, it said. “The new system does not benefit a certain political group but the more popular force.” It added that the ruling parties would have won 61 percent of all mandates in the old election system.
In the April 2014 general election, the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democratic alliance secured 133 seats in Hungary’s 199-member parliament, scoring a two-thirds majority.
The think-tank said that the Constitutional Court had not been banned from referring to their earlier decisions and that the electoral districts had not been changed right before the elections but back in 2011. The list of voters living in other countries could not be manipulated, as suggested in the OSCE report. Similarly, voters casting their ballot abroad did not suffer any discrimination, it added.
The independence of the National Election Office has strengthened compared to its predecessor, and regulations ensuring balanced information to the public are adequate, the think-tank said in its statement.