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Election Office Rejects Karácsony’s Complaint over PMO Head’s Controversial Statement

Ábrahám Vass 2019.09.20.

The National Election Committee (NVB) voted down joint opposition Budapest mayoral candidate Gergely Karácsony’s complaint against the government and namely PMO Head Gergely Gulyás for illegal campaigning and violating the purity of the election.

Karácsony turned to the NVB because Gulyás, head of the Prime Minister’s Office, had said that the 15-point Tarlós-Orbán agreement -that includes promised developments and increased financial support to Budapest and guarantees the capital’s municipal independence- would not be valid unless Fidesz-supported István Tarlós wins the election.

According to Karácsony, Gulyás and Fidesz have repeatedly blackmailed the people of Budapest, threatening them if they do not vote for Tarlós, then the agreement between the Prime Minister and the mayor will be invalid and eventually the government will overlook and neglect the capital.

NVB president Péter Rádi argued that it was one of Gulyás’s ministerial duties to cooperate with the prevailing Budapest mayor and he made his statement in that spirit having only talked about how this cooperation would be. Although opposition-delegated members contested this reasoning, NVB voted it down 8 to 5.

NVB has discussed another matter on Thursday. Róbert Puzsér‘s submission, however, that aimed to examine whether there was a significant overlap between the recommendations of Krisztián Berki and István Tarlós candidates didn’t make it on the agenda as only the five opposition members supported it.

featured image: NVB president Péter Rádi; MTI/Zoltán Máthé