After the National Information Center declassified the intelligence report on foreign interference in the 2022 parliamentary elections in Hungary, new information has come to light. It has emerged that a large sum of money, mainly in foreign currency, has been transferred to the accounts of the Ninety-Nine Movement Association founded by Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony, Magyar Nemzet reports.
The organization is not the first to be suspected of foreign funding during the election campaign. The Everybody’s Hungary Movement (Mindenki Magyarországa Mozgalom), Oraculum 2020 Kft. and the DatAdat Professional Kft., all linked to the Hungarian opposition, have also received substantial amounts of foreign funding.
According to the recent intelligence report, the cross-party Ninety-Nine Movement Association was created to support Gergely Karácsony in the 2021 opposition primaries as the joint candidate for prime minister of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), Dialogue for Hungary – Greens (Párbeszéd – Zöldek), and Hungary’s Green Party (LMP).
However, Karácsony resigned from the candidacy in favor of Péter Márki-Zay, even though he had said earlier that nothing could make him give up his candidacy, except being hit by a tram.
The founders of the Ninety-Nine Movement include national and local politicians, well-known public figures (economists, actors, directors), teachers, and students. The official representative is Gábor Perjés, a politician from Dialogue for Hungary – Greens, known as a person close to former Socialist Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai. Perjés is identified as the sole contributor to the movement’s account and has sole control of the account.
The Ninety-Nine Movement Association’s Facebook page became inactive shortly after the opposition primaries.
However, DatAdat’s invoicing data shows that the movement ordered services worth more than HUF 616.5 million (EUR 1.6 million) from the company, 90 percent of which were placed after Gergely Karácsony’s withdrawal as candidate for prime minister.
The orders were covered by the movement from its own resources.
According to reports, Perjés paid a total of HUF 506 million (EUR 1.3 million) into the account on nineteen occasions, most of the transactions being in foreign currency.
The report states that “a total of 917,695 euros and 3,900 pounds cash payments were made to the account during the period under review.”
Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony. Photo: Facebook/Kilencvenkilenc Mozgalom
The source of the half a billion forints is not yet known, but Magyar Nemzet points out that there can be no question of micro-donations, as the size of individual transfers has exceeded 50 million forints (EUR 135,500) in several cases.
It has already been revealed that another movement, the Everybody’s Hungary Movement, linked to opposition prime ministerial candidate Péter Márki-Zay, received 1.85 billion forints (EUR 5 million) in foreign funding through the Action for Democracy organization in the US. At the time, opposition figures claimed that this sum had been raised from micro-donations.
In view of previous cases, it is likely that the Ninety-Nine Movement Association also received funds from abroad. If this can be proven, the amount of foreign funding received by the opposition during the election campaign would now exceed 4.5 billion forints (EUR 12.2 million). As the country’s sovereignty may have been compromised by possible foreign interference, the national security services have launched an investigation into the matter.
Featured photo via Facebook/Gergely Karácsony