The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg rejected Jobbik’s claim the opposition party made following the State Audit Office’s (ÁSZ) gigantic and controversial fine for alleged “illicit party financing” imposed ahead of the 2018 elections.
Although ÁSZ’s ruling can’t be appealed in Hungary, Jobbik still launched a public administration lawsuit, then turned to the Constitutional Court (AB) who also rejected the case (you can find out more about this legal process here).
The ECHR now argued that the formerly radical party didn’t exhaust all domestic legal remedies.
Just months before the 2018 general elections, ÁSZ fined the opposition party HUF 660 million (Eur 1.9 million) in total for irregularities in campaign financing, namely for having made use of the billboards (directed against the ruling Fidesz-KDNP coalition) of Orbán’s friend-turned-enemy oligarch Lajos Simicska under the market price.
ÁSZ, led by former Fidesz politician László Domokos, often comes under criticism for allegedly being a political weapon in the hands of the governing parties. Ahead of the 2018 elections, besides Jobbik’s fine, it also issued financial penalties for the left-wing opposition parties, while not one irregularity has been found at Fidesz or KDNP. Later, ÁSZ once again fined Jobbik Huf 272 million (Eur 779 thousand) for “illicit party financing,” that, according to party officials, put the party’s existence in peril.
ECHR’s ruling cannot be appealed.
featured image via Lajos Soós/MTI