The opposition Jobbik party has called on the ruling Fidesz party to release information about the costs of its 2010 election campaign and related outdoor advertising.
The opposition party’s spokesman, Péter Jakab, told a news conference on Friday that press reports suggested Fidesz had received billboard space from Lajos Simicska’s company for half the cost of Jobbik’s recent outdoor advertisements.
Simicska, a founder of the ruling party who had large sway over its finances, fell out with his childhood friend Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Fidesz accuses him of putting his wealth and business interests at the service of the opposition party.
The Jobbik spokesman said that in 2010 Fidesz bought outdoor advertising space on 1,300 billboards without any accompanying paperwork. This raises the possibility that the party dodged paying VAT, he added.
He said the ruling party would be able to clear itself of these allegations if, like Jobbik, it accounted for all the details of its previous poster campaigns. The Jobbik spokesman insisted that his party had bought advertising space for its current campaign at market rates.
Jobbik in a statement said it would initiate an impeachment procedure against President János Áder, saying that his decision to sign the law on billboard advertising was unworthy of the head of state. The party also noted that it was seeking a review of the law by the Constitutional Court.
“János Áder is not the president of the Republic of Hungary but Viktor Orbán’s president, capable of violating the constitution and restricting the freedom of speech in order to protect the corruption of the Orbán regime,” the statement said. “By signing the billboard law, Hungary has strayed from the rule of law at the highest level.”