Hungary’s new campaign financing law enables fraud

Political parties able to set up a list of candidates for the entire country are eligible to get from 150 up to 700 million HUF state funding for their campaign. The new campaign financing law means a trap for transparency and creates opportunities for frauds. According to the legislation each party with a list of candidates and which is able to name 27 candidates out of the 106 new electoral districts gets a minimum 177 million HUF. Those with candidates in every district can get up to 706 million HUF from the state.

To run as a candidate requires 500 signatures so it is really easy to even get together someone’s friends and establish a party for the costs of a lawyer only. Accountability gets a stain with the possibility of charging fake bills to prove the spending of state money.

Our investigation found that over the 132 registered parties in October, 10 new parties were founded until the end of January. One of these is related to the scandal of János Zuschlag, former representative and key figure of the scandalous membership-case in the Socialist Party 10 years ago.

The original article was published on 12/02/2014, in Hungarian.