The Hungarian State Audit Office continues to financially undermine the Opposition?
Opposition party Jobbik is once again threatened by a hundred million forints fine by the State Audit Office, but they are not the only ones in financial danger: government aid for Párbeszéd and Momentum was revoked. The decisions are especially harsh as the next European Parliament campaign is coming up.
Népszava reports that the Hungarian State Audit Office is about to fine Jobbik again for over 100 million forints (EUR 300 thousand). The final decision is yet to be settled, so within a given deadline, Jobbik can comment on the draft. Before last year’s parliamentary election, Jobbik was fined more than 660 million forints (EUR 2 million) by the SAO for unauthorised campaigning.
According to Népszava, the government aid for Párbeszéd and Momentum was revoked, although they have not yet received an official notice. The paper has contacted the State Audit Office, enquiring whether they wish to transfer the aids to the respective parties and if not, what is the reason for not doing so.
The last time Párbeszéd has received their government aid was in October, when 23 million forints (EUR 70 thousand) were allocated into their account.
Kocsis-Cake Olivio, party director of Párbeszéd, told Népszava that roughly the same amount should have already been transferred to them as First Quarter aid.
The prospects of Momentum are not better either. They too have received their aids for the Fourth Quarter in 2018 – the party in October, their foundation in December. However, the party has still not received their 12 million forints (EUR 37 thousand) aid for Q1, nor did the foundation they’re respective 21 million forints (EUR 65 thousand).
Since the State Audit Office could not check on the campaign spendings and it could not find the parties at their registered offices, the SAO threatened to not only suspend government aids but to also fine them.
Párbeszéd has submitted on December 11th the required papers confirming the change of location of their office, along with the receipts, contracts and other documents accounting for campaign funds, the SAO has not yet responded. Hajnal (Momentum) argues that the threats made by the SAO are without basis since Momentum has informed the SAO in time and the proper fashion about their change of office.
Both Kocsis-Cake and Hajnal told Párbeszéd that if they do not receive the aids, they will be put in an extremely difficult situation: Párbeszéd would not be able to pay their colleagues and the party would not have enough money to prepare for the upcoming elections. Momentum would try to fund their European Parliament election campaign from charity, as they have done so previously, though not with such an amount of money. They have lawyers looking into the case, but as Kocsis-Cake reasoned:
the SAO has their own interpretation of the law, so it would come as no surprise if the parties would be helpless against them.
featured image: Daily News Hungary