Fidesz is preparing to form an electoral alliance with Flórián Farkas’s Lungo Drom party for next year’s parliamentary elections, despite numerous ongoing investigations into Farkas’s activities as leader of the National Roma Self-Government (ÖRO). According to mno.hu, Farkas and Speaker of the National Assembly László Kövér will sign the cooperation agreement today at Fidesz’s Lendvay utca headquarters.
The decision is unexpected as Farkas has became somewhat of a nuisance for Fidesz recently. The former head of the National Roma Council is under multiple investigations both by Hungarian and EU authorities for bribery, public document forgery, misappropriation and budget fraud.
Lungo Drom, one of the biggest Roma advocacy organisations in Hungary, has been an ally of Fidesz since the 2002 elections. Farkas has been a Fidesz MP since then. In 2010 Farkas was appointed as Ministerial Commissioner overseeing Roma aid. Between 2011 and 2014, he was the chairman of the National Roma Self-Government (ÖRO).
As the chairman of ÖRO Farkas was overseeing the EU-funded “Bridge to the Working World” project, a joint program between ÖRO and the Hungarian government to help Roma people get work. In 2015 it was revealed that some of the project managers spent billions of forints that they could not account for, while no jobs were created for Roma through the program.
Despite the scandal Farkas continues to remain both a member of parliament and government commissioner for Roma affairs.