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National Election Cttee Dismisses DK Complaint over Govt Billboards

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.03.05.

The National Election Committee on Monday dismissed a complaint submitted by the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) concerning a Hungarian government billboard campaign featuring European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

In a vote, the committee supported a proposal by chairman Péter Rádi who said the committee was not entitled to assess DK’s complaint because it was not authorised to assess campaign activities outside the campaign period, a statement showed. The campaign period for the European parliamentary election starts on April 6 this year, it added.

DK said the rejection of the party’s complaint showed that the committee had become part of the “party state”.

Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has “admitted in an interview with the BBC that the government’s new billboards showing Juncker serve the purpose of an election campaign”, DK deputy leader Csaba Molnár said in a statement.

DK filed the complaint last Thursday.

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If the government’s billboards are not part of an “election campaign as Szijjártó has stated” then posting them violates the election law but if they are, then the billboards constitute “illicit party financing for [ruling] Fidesz worth billions of forints”, Molnár said.