Alleged fraud in Tapolca electoral district: Fidesz candidate denies everything

March 26, 2018

Alleged fraud in Tapolca electoral district, Fidesz candidate denies everything
Fidesz candidate Zoltán Fenyvesi (l) busy collecting endorsement signatures | Photo: Facebook/@fenyvesizoli

According to Magyar Nemzet, someone in Veszprém county’s 3rd electoral district filed a complaint with authorities just over a week ago, alleging that Fidesz’s candidate, Zoltán Fenyvesi, used 849 forged signatures in his voter endorsement forms.

These forms are used by candidates to collect signatures from voters which ensure candidates get on the ballot. 500 valid signatures are needed.

Magyar Nemzet obtained a copy of the complaint, which alleges that signatures were forged in the local Fidesz party office by four individuals. The complaint says private information used to forge the signatures had been obtained in earlier Fidesz campaigns, including Fidesz’s petitions for the government-forced price decrease on public utilities and the anti-refugee resettlement petition. Signatures furnished by Fenyvesi reportedly included those of deceased individuals and people in prison.

According to the complaint, Fenyvesi picked up the official signature-gathering documentation on Monday morning at 8:20 and returned the paperwork the following day at 1pm.

Magyar Nemzet reports that the local election office says that of the 400 endorsement sheets it issued to Fenyvesi, only 125 were filled out, the rest were returned empty. Based on these figures, Fenyvesi furnished around 1000 endorsements. The local election office did not launch an investigation into the suspected forgeries because it reviewed the first 70 pages (which contained 553 valid endorsements) and found everything in order, so they just stopped counting.

The Veszprém county prosecutor’s office says it received the complaint on Monday, March 19, when it was sent to the prosecution service’s local office in Tapolca. Police have reportedly opened an investigation into the matter.

Opposition politicians have called on Fenyvesi to pull out of the race.

Fenyvesi lost his bid for parliament to Jobbik MP Lajos Rig in a by-election in 2015. Veszprém county’s 3rd electoral district is one of the hotly-contested districts where an opposition candidate – in this case, the incumbent, Lajos Rig – can win if other opposition parties step back in favor of the strongest opposition candidate.