Government conspiracy to prevent a referendum

Critics of the democratic opposition in Hungary often charge both journalists and politicians with abandoning stories about the corrupt Orbán government. A huge scandal surfaces and is on the front page of every newspaper, but a few days later the whole thing is forgotten. The dogged perseverance so necessary for both reporters and politicians seems to be missing from Hungarian political life, although in the few cases where it was at work the administration had to retreat.

The most spectacular success of that kind of investigative journalism was the resignation of President Pál Schmidt after it became known that his so-called doctoral dissertation was a Hungarian translation of a book originally written in French. HVG, the paper that received the original scoop, simply didn’t let the issue die. They kept at it. Although it took four months, eventually Schmidt was told to retire quietly. I’ll bet that Viktor Orbán has regretted that decision ever since. In fact, in the last couple of years he has smuggled Schmidt back into the government circle. Schmidt received government assignments in connection with Hungary’s bid for the 2024 Olympic games.

It seems that this same ability to stay with a project and see it through to completion is now being exhibited by MSZP’s István Nyakó, the man who was prevented from submitting his referendum question on Sunday retail store closings to the National Election Office (NVH). Of course, he needed the assistance of the media. Both HVG and Index have been giving ample coverage to the story. Today, after a month of back and forth, both NVH and the National Election Committee (NVB) finally decided to ask the police to investigate the skinheads’ role in the events that allowed Mrs. Erdősi, wife of Herceghalom’s mayor and a devoted admirer of Viktor Orbán, to turn in her question about the Sunday closings while the hired heavies prevented Nyakó from submitting his question. The very fact that the case has gotten this far is an unexpected success, which says a lot about the state of democracy in Hungary. Or, rather the lack thereof. A dictatorial regime like Viktor Orbán’s does not tolerate dissent and will do everything in its power to stifle it.

István Nyakó in front of the National Election Office / 24per7

István Nyakó in front of the National Election Office / 24per7

I devoted several posts to the topic of the seemingly hopeless task of submitting a referendum question on the Sunday closings issue. Sunday closings are very unpopular, and if such a referendum were actually held it is quite possible that the closings would be overwhelmingly rejected, which could be interpreted as a rejection of Viktor Orbán’s whole political system. Thus, a variety of tricks have been employed to prevent such an outcome. This cat and mouse game has now been going on for about a year. Thanks to Nyakó’s insistence and the media’s help, today we have some evidence that there was a joint effort between Fidesz and individuals allegedly representing independent agencies, like NVH and NVB and the National Data Protection and Freedom of Information Authority (NAIH), to prevent something that is against the wishes of the government. Such a concerted effort is less kindly called a “conspiracy,” which is a very serious crime.

The alleged crime took place on February 23. Within a few hours important information emerged, including the identity of Mrs. Erdősi and the connection between the skinheads of the Ferencváros (Fradi) Football Association, and Gábor Kubatov, president of Fradi, vice-chairman of Fidesz, and the maverick election campaign manager of the party. A few days later I followed up my initial post with more facts. Since then even more details have emerged. I’m pretty certain that by now we have a very good idea of how the ruse was conceived and executed. The only thing missing is definite proof, which can be obtained only if the police take the investigation seriously.

What we know now is that the chairmen of both NVH and NVB hid an important piece of evidence: a seven-hour surveillance video from outside the building of NVH. Members of the election committee today claim that they would have immediately launched an investigation if they had had the opportunity to see the video, which shows the arrival of the skinheads and the distribution of copies of Mrs. Erdősi’s referendum question enclosed in plastic folders. Thus, Mrs. Erdősi and the skinheads worked together. They were one team. Initially, however, Ilona Pálffy of NVH and Sándor Patyi, chairman of NVB, convinced members of the committee that there was nothing interesting on the video. Only the lone MSZP representative on the committee insisted on looking at it, but he was voted down by the Fidesz-Jobbik majority. Moreover, Pálffy and Patyi also “forgot” to submit the video along with other documents when the Kúria wanted to take a second look at the case. So, from what we know now there is a good likelihood of Pálffy’s and Patyi’s involvement in the conspiracy.

There is also the possibility that one or more employees of the National Data Protection and Freedom of Information Authority (NAIH) are also involved. What does this office have to do with referendums? Anyone who wants to submit a referendum question has to start at NAIH in order to receive permission to collect the necessary 20-30 supporting signatures. MSZP members in the past received these permissions after a fairly lengthy waiting period. MSZP’s Zoltán Lukács, who submitted a referendum question earlier, asked for permission on January 27 and received the answer on February 18. Nyakó’s request was submitted on February 12, and he had to wait 10 days for an answer. Behold, Mrs. Erdősi’s application arrived on February 21, a Sunday, and a day later permission was granted. The deadline to submit a referendum question was February 23, Tuesday. Someone at NAIH clearly wanted to expedite matters to make sure that Mrs. Erdősi would be able to turn in her referendum question in time.

Now it is up to the police and the prosecutors to handle the case. Odds are, if recent history is any guide, that the case will never be solved.

March 31, 2016
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
bimbi
Guest

“if recent history is any guide… …the case will never be solved.”

This is quite correct. For “Police investigations” and “action by the prosecutor’s office” you can wait until the proverbial cows come home. Prosecutor Polt is Orban’s bastion against any investigation and prosecution of corruption by Fidesz. It isn’t going to happen. When, under this government lies are heaped on corruption and corruption upon lies what matters a few more weeks of delay that somehow string into months until the next scandal arrives?

Observer
Guest

Fascism Light©.

If it trots like a pig, if it squeals like pig, if it looks like a pig, it is probably a pig.

So we have the Fidesz Party Director at the top, three agencies/government stooges, a couple of Orban faithfuls and the goons, who “defended” the party before. The criminal action favored Fidesz on a very symbolic political issue.

Guess who is behind this criminal conspiracy.

Member

Please stop maligning pigs, who are among our most horribly, shamefully, pitiably mistreated victims. Don’t stop out of political correctness but out of decency. https://www.facebook.com/113902138666401/photos/a.114071768649438.16041.113902138666401/1075661529157119/?type=3&theater

Tyrker
Guest

Mmm… pork. Yum!

Guest

And the new reduced VAT on pork gives everybody in Hungary the chance to become a Real Hungarian – maybe you know the definition:
It’s easier to jump over him than to walk around him …
Do you belong to that elite club already, Tyrker?

PS:
Obesity is a real problem – not only in Hungary, but …

FügeJenő
Guest

I just saw Gabor Kubatov on the street, he was walking in the direction of the Parliament (probably the Prime Minister’s office). He was casually dressed, and seemed well-slept, calm, even pleased, certainly didn’t look worried at all. Kubatov did a good job. MSZP lost, Orban won time and that’s what’s important.

webber
Guest

What did MSZP lose?
Public opinion is disgusted by what Kubatov’s thugs did, and because of that Fidesz lost even more voters. Since Fidesz lost the 2/3s and keeps losing by-elections, I would have thought keeping voter support was a priority.
I’d say Fidesz lost – it’s a party for losers. We can all see that now.

Observer
Guest

Cretin.

Guest

“Now it is up to the police and the prosecutors to handle the case.”

The case will be handled according to the Fidesz Book. If there are any honest people in the police or the prosecutors office they will not be allowed to touch the case. A story will be cooked up to put the blame on Nyakó.

viiii
Guest

Sorry guys, but president Obama loves and admires Orban. There’s real chemistry between them. The US eventually embraces successful politicians. It has no other option. I mean Orban is popular and beloved, so what could the US do?The Americans couldn’t even get rid of Fidel either, Orban is here to stay too. He still has 20-25 active years in him.

http://digidugi.tumblr.com/post/142060607880/%C3%BAjabb-magyar-siker

webber
Guest

Yeah, right…
All you’ve demonstrated is what all Americans already know. Every single head of state in the Western world wants a photograph with the President, and takes any opportunity to get one.
Next are you going to tell us Merkel loves Orban, because of this picture?
comment image

Get a life you loser.

webber
Guest

Nice that you compare Orban with Fidel.
So, you also consider him a dictator. It’s interesting, and pathetic, that you are proud of that.

Viiiiii
Guest

Fidel was a revolutionary although a communist one. Orban is a revolutionary too, a conservative one.

Orban doesn’t want to advertise this too much and he certainly doesn’t get credit for it. He is a bit ambivalent, he often likes to make the liberals aware of their loser status (and their impossibility to ever return to power), but if he would be too arrogant the liberals and leftists might be able to unite and sack him. Better to stay modest, let the lefties think they have a chance.

Orban totally eliminated the previous elite in every sense, whether the business or legal or cultural elite you consider, Orban installed its own, very loyal elite and sacked the previous one. They totally lost their influence which was Orban’s goal from the getgo. This is the true definition of a revolution.

Orban is a real revolutionary and so the comparision is actually apt.

Member

Actually Orbán was only invited for an evening reception at the White House , along with leaders from other countries. So that picture is not what you might think.

Obama did not invite Orbán to the White House for private talks. I doubt that such talks will ever take place with a Democratic President.

http://hvg.hu/itthon/20160401_Orban_Viktor_Feher_Haz

webber
Guest

Viii – We generally call the servants of dictators “slaves” in English. In Hungarian you’d be called “szolga.”

cobaka1999
Guest

Szolga or not, Orban executed an extremely thorough elite change. Exactly as he planned. As the Germans say, gesagt, getan. The left-wing (assuming it ever gets to form a government) would not be able to do so (and would not have the inclination either as it always wants to appease and compromise especially as most are being paid by Fidesz), so these fidesz-loyal people are here to stay and influence life in Hungary for decades to come. Imagination and discipline equal revolution and power. The left-wing has neither and thus will never be able to fundamentally influence Hungary (in government without being able to rewrite the Basic Law it is doomed to fail without having any real achievements, just like Gyurcsany had none). The chapter of the left-wing in Hungary is closed for all practical purposes. Orban killed it. Of course a war needs soldiers who are happy to serve. He has that army, so he achieves. Infighting smarteggs will be no match in 2018 to Orban, supported by close to a million votes from abroad.

webber
Guest

Another slave!

Observer
Guest

Not a slave, just dog.

Знаем как собака служит мастеру.

webber
Guest

Why you slaves think Orbán could win in 2018 is beyond me. He wasn’t even able to keep his 2/3s majority (“he doesn’t care about that” you slaves say- like hell he doesn’t!). Fidesz wasn’t able to win a single mid-term election over the past two years.
Fidesz is heading for a drubbing like the one you got in 2002, unless the Party negates elections goes for open dictatorship (apparently that’s what you want – to see the whole country enslaved like you)

Observer
Guest

Orban’s “revolutionaries” club: F.Castro, F. Batista, A. Somosa, I. Aliev, N.Nazarbajev, and of course the two of the founders B.Mussolini and A.Hitler. All pushed their own “revolution” (we call this putsch).

Istvan
Guest
Here is what is more likely in relationship to President Obama’s perspective on PM Orban. He gets very periodically in what is called the President’s Daily Briefing ( a top secret document ) a one or two line reference to Hungary. It is filtered information likely produced by the CIA station chief at the US embassy in Budapest after it has gone to the the CIA Office of Russian and European Analysis (OREA) located in Langley, Virginia and then through the CIA’s Directorate of Analysis. Among the things about PM Orban that might appear would be his relationship with Putin, his relationship to systemic corruption in Hungary, his position on Hungary’s support for NATO, changes in laws that might undermine democracy in Hungary, I would bet on any relations between Orban and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and on Hungary’s support for Kurdistan via MOL oil operations there. What I always find fascinating is how Fidesz supporters like to think their great leader has world importance, and if you spend your time watching M1 or reading Magyar Nemzet no doubt one could have that impression. I suspect that the number of times Orban’s name appears in the Daily briefing would be… Read more »
Guest

Re:’The Americans couldn’t even get rid of Fidel either, Orban is here to stay too. He still has 20-25 active years in him’

Hmm… Some who love him should be careful what they wish for. Just saying. It’s true good old Fidel is still hanging around. But his ‘revolution’ looks pitiful after all the years. Such a sad country that has eked out miserable days after the ‘revolution’. If revolutions need to go on they need to be nurtured in such a way that the people know they have created something much better than what came before. Point to ponder in the continuing saga of Magyarorszag under Fidesz.

Orban seems to have followed the Fidelian aspects of rule namely seeming to set up a ‘one party’ regime, trying to get everybody working , paranoia of foreigners and ‘property redistribution’. Not really innovative but functional and seems to get the job done in ‘governing’ the electorate.

Fidesz’s job right now during this revolution? No doubt making sure everything’s ‘edes’ in the land for all those who ‘count’. For a look at Fidel’s place would make an analyst see how ‘savanyu’ some revolutions can wind up.

Guest

A prescription made by Thomas Jefferson who applied great thought in how good government should behave:
“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first’

Real bad news that ‘independent agencies’ are involved in the referendum affair. It remains to be seen if people meet in criminal court. If not I’d think think-tanks and pundits will have to get away from consistently projecting a fiction that Orban’s fiefdom operating with a tight set of vassals is indeed a fully functioning democracy. From some views it is obviously not and the blinkers should be removed from the eyes.

Member

Poor Orbán can’t even get a break from commenters mocking him on his own Facebook page …
http://index.hu/mindekozben/poszt/2016/04/01/orban-obama/

Guest

And poor Barack. Doesn’t even know the shiny shiv is in the left hand.
The guys who come to get you come with smilin’ faces…;-)…what kind of ‘state’ was talked about???

petofi
Guest

Orban is anything but “poor”…

Margot
Guest

Bit OT. Orban just got the rather prestigious “Atoms for Peace Award” . Can anybody explain why, and wat he has to do with Peace?

Guest

Hungary got the award – not O!
According to the Ministry of National Development, Hungary was awarded the Atoms for Peace Award at the meeting for its efforts to fully eradicate reserves of highly enriched uranium. The international recognition was handed over at the Nuclear Industry Summit to Miklós Seszták, Hungary’s Minister of Development.
Even the official statement says this:
http://hungarytoday.hu/news/56684
But it hasn’t much besides those nice pictures …
Bertalan Havasi, the Prime Minister’s press chief, declined further comment on Mr. Orbán’s Washington schedule yesterday, claiming that certain details of Mr. Orbán’s visit to the US capital will be made public through state media at a later phase.

Istvan
Guest

Update on Education Reform movement: An interesting article appeared this afternoon http://nepszava.hu/cikk/1089982-nincs-hova-hatralni—ujabb-tiltakozo-akciot-jelentettek-be-pukliek it discussed a Tanitanek press conference held today. Katalin Törley was the spokesperson for the movement and she indicated that April 15 would be the next date for actions at schools “if the Government by 12 April did not sit down to negotiate with them.” The article also contains an extremely hostile statement from János Lázár towards the March 30 actions ( to see the interview go to http://nepszava.hu/cikk/1089964-tanitanek-lazar-tajekozodhatna-mielott-megszolal ). This statement really is remarkable, he is quoted as having said “Other governments laughing at the protesters after yesterday’s protests (which he characterized as “Kudarc volt”), however, our government takes them seriously.” Possibly the other governments were Russia and Kyrgyzstan? The Minister did not clarify which other governments he was referring to.

Istvan
Guest

Also in relation to education reform: Zoltán Balog discussed today the restructuring of Klik which funds all secular schools in Hungary. The outlines he provided were more detailed than in prior references in the media to the Fidesz plan to reform Klik (see http://mno.hu/belfold/hatvan-szervezetet-hoznanak-letre-a-klik-helyett-1335573 ). Basically a Klik central would continue to exist, but much smaller than it is now. It is envisaged that school districts would be merged, but not along county boundaries. There would be 50 to 60 Klik type entities throughout Hungary. Istvánné Galló president of the Teachers Union also threatened a one day strike on TV2’s morning show on Friday if discussions with the government over the joint strike committee’s 25 demands did not show greater progress.

Observer
Guest

Another CONSPIRACY to cover up Fidesz crimes.

The “independent” Chief Prosecutor, in fact obedient Orban servant, found that no crime was committed and closed the investigation of the illegal distribution of the tobacco concessions in Szekszárd in 2013.

The scandal broke out with the release of a recording of the Fidesz local party meeting which contained a discussion about which bidder was a good comrade to receive concession/s. The meeting kept a protocol and a list of the “winners” was mentioned.
Later a former participant who left Fidesz to join LMP, Äkos Hadházi confirmed the accusations. With the benefit of hind sight, he drew attention to the overlapping of the preliminary list with the eventual winners’ list.
Several reports to the police were made already in 2013. The investigation dragged on (hoping the media and the public would loose interest) and now, closing his eyes to all evidence, the obedient P. Polt (not Pol Pot) served this master once again and again committed a crime of his own.

The Mafia state par exellence.

Observer
Guest

I was so outraged by such blatant abuse of position of power that I thought Peter Polt should be grateful not to hang from a lamp post one day.
(to borrow a Zs.B. expression).

wpDiscuz