Many people have received unsolicited phone calls from pollsters and parties, even though they banned the public telephone directories from publishing their telephone numbers. We'll take a look at some of the typical violations that have occurred and tell you what you can do if your information is misused in the campaign.
A mayoral candidate overseeing the polling on the spot; a “polling booth” made out of a cardboard box in Budapest; rural candidates chased down the street; burned ballot papers; and various creative forms of vote-buying—we have collected the most extreme cases of violation reported on our election hotline during the municipal elections.
While the police descended on András Pikó's 8th District campaign team because of a photo that showed nothing more than activists leaning over papers, the clearly legible photos made of the “Kubatov List” did not merit an investigation. On Election Day, opposition activists chased groups of people presumably involved in the organized transport of electors and even found a packet that looked like a bunch of ballot papers in a taxi, but the police had not acted. Why did they react to these situations differently?
Amnesty International Hungary, Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Mérték Media Monitor, Háttér Society, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union and Tansparency International Hungary elaborated a joint NGO reaction paper to rebut the Hungarian government’s response to the Reasoned Proposal in the Article 7 procedure against Hungary.
The action against the act stigmatizing Hungarian civil society organizations has entered a new phase: on 22 October the Court of Justice of the European Union will conduct a public hearing on the case.
On 12 September 2018, the European Parliament voted to trigger proceedings against Hungary under Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union on account of the systemic threat to the core values of the EU. A year later, the risk of a serious breach of the EU founding values has increased: Hungarian authorities have continued to silence dissent and run intimidation campaigns against individuals and organizations that want to hold the government accountable. This has been achieved through enacting or enforcing laws that curb fundamental freedoms and by further increasing government control over the media and the judiciary.
The European Council should now resolutely address the substantive concerns in the Article 7 framework.