Péter Márki-Zay, the joint opposition’s candidate for prime minister, held a press conference today in Hódmezővásárhely where he is currently the mayor. During the conference, he showed a dossier which he said he had received from the Democratic Coalition (DK), who had received it during the primaries from Fidesz, containing pieces of information that could discredit him.
Márki-Zay said that the document is “collected defamatory material” against him. He told those journalists present to take a look at it and take pictures: “Nothing is covered up, just as I received it, it is here, you can see it.” The journalists were able to take physical copies as well. They also made a summary which is available here.
Márki-Zay confirmed that his wife is mentioned in them and the fact that she received money from the (Hungarian) National Midwife Association during her studies in Canada. There was also someone else mentioned in the dossier (whose identity has not been made public), who according to the document’s author, paid money to Márki-Zay. He said that this is not true.
This is not the first time that Márki-Zay’s wife was targeted. The Budapest City Court of Appeals ordered
pro-Fidesz tabloid site Origo
to pay two million forints in damages for falsely claiming that the wife of the mayor of Hódmezővásárhely, Felícia Vincze, was responsible for the death of a baby as a midwife. In their articles, they created the false impression that she had contributed to the death of several babies.
The candidate for prime minister commented:
The monitoring is absolutely reminiscent of the darkest days of communism.”
“I am sure that Fidesz has something better than this. They have a secret service, they have the Pegasus software, it’s obvious that this is not up to that level,” Márki-Zay told HVG. During the conference, he added that both Hódmezővásárhely’s municipality website and his own laptop were monitored in 2018. He compared the current documents to the Kubatov list.
The Kubatov list is a voter database created
by Fidesz in the 2000s. The list is named after Gábor Kubatov, Fidesz’s party director and vice-president, who is believed to have played a key role in its creation.
The existence of the list is not disputed; according to Fidesz, it is a legal database. However, the legality of the content and construction of the list is disputed. According to critics, it not only contains data about party supporters and those who agreed to the data collection, but also in some cases, information such as party sympathies, willingness to vote, contact details, etc., in addition to name and contact details.
“If they are watching me, then they can do so,” the mayor has since said. According to him, he has nothing to hide and he does not plan to take any security measurements yet.
According to Márki-Zay, Fidesz did not release the documents themselves because “they wanted to stir up controversy and tension within the opposition, or if they didn’t want to appear with this in the pre-election campaign themselves, it must have seemed like a good idea.”
Márki-Zay did not want to share who exactly gave him the dossier from DK but added that he “also asked who within Fidesz they got it from, but they wouldn’t tell me.”
Péter Márki-Zay thanked DK during his conference for the gesture and for not using the information against him during the primaries.
I’m not afraid [of being watched at the moment]. I’m sure I am,”
the candidate told HVG‘s journalist after the press conference.
DK: Fidesz gave us the dossier
Since then, Balázs Barkóczi, spokesman for the Democratic Coalition, said that it was a Fidesz municipal councilor of a country town who handed over a dossier to DK containing defamatory information about Márki-Zay. According to Barkóczi, they received these documents during the second round of the primaries.
Fidesz MP: Márki-Zay is a “lunatic”
Member of the National Assembly and Fidesz politician, Gyula Budai, called Márki-Zay a “lunatic” in a Facebook post, and said that the story was the “joke of the week.” He also said that “Péter Márki-Zay suffers from a personality disorder that is a medical condition and requires treatment!”
Featured image: screen capture from Péter Márki-Zay’s press conference broadcasted on his Facebook page