Jobbik proposes 5-party talks on NGO transparency
Budapest (MTI) – The opposition Jobbik party has called for five-party talks with a view to increasing the transparency of NGOs, Gábor Staudt, the party’s deputy parliamentary group leader, told a press conference on Thursday.
The transparency of politically active NGOs should be served by unbiased, uniform and up-to-date regulations, Staudt said.
He proposed the cross-party meeting for next week, adding that legislation should equally apply to domestic and foreign “influencers” in order to avoid government attempts to mute opposition voices only.
Gabor Staudt said it was “outrageous” that Fidesz had raised the issue when the pro-government CÖF organisation had put up posters all over the country aiming to ridicule Jobbik leader Gábor Vona. If CÖF operated transparently, this campaign could be clearly linked to the government, he added. The MP said there was a suspicion that Fidesz was stealthily supporting NGOs using public funds.
In a recent television interview, Szilárd Nemeth, deputy leader of the ruling Fidesz party, said “fake organisations” belonging to Hungarian-born American financier George Soros should be scrapped because they had been deliberately set up to influence Hungarian politics.
Christopher Stone, head of the Open Society Foundations, issued a statement afterwards vowing to carry on working in Hungary “to strengthen democracy, the rule of law and justice” by working together with local organisations.
The government is reportedly tabling a bill obliging the leaders of NGOs to make their income statements publicly available. Nemeth said “fake NGOs” of the “Soros-empire” should be curbed and “eliminated” because “they promote global capitalism and political correctness” in opposition to national governments.