Hungarian parliamentary election 2014: 1559 candidates to contest 106 seats on April 6

March 7, 2014

election

When the Hungarian parliamentary election 2014 is held on 6 April, voters will have an average of 15 candidates per electoral district to choose from.  In Baranya county’s fourth electoral district 29 different candidates will be on the ballot.

Up for grabs are 106 out of a total of 199 seats in parliament.

The rest of the seats will be divided among parties running national lists and receiving at least 5 per cent of the popular vote.  When casting their vote for a national party list, voters will have some 18 parties to choose from.  (Each voter may vote for one candidate for parliament and for one party list).

According to the director of the National Election Office, Ilona Palffy, as of Friday morning 1559 candidates had been put on the ballots for 106 electoral districts, necessitating a redesign of the ballot. Napi.hu writes that a larger ballot means it will take voters longer to fill them in, resulting in longer lines at polling stations.  Processing the ballots and tabulating the results will also take considerably longer than in previous elections.

The unprecedented number of candidates and parties is the direct result of the new election law which requires that candidates collect the signatures of just 500 people living in their electoral district and awards them HUF 1 million in public campaign funds for their efforts.  (A typical electoral district contains between 65,000 and 85,000 people).  Candidates receiving at least 2 per cent of the vote in their respective electoral district may keep the money.

31 parties attempted to register national lists for this year’s elections, including a number of small parties registered over the past six months.  Of those, the National Election Committee only registered the national lists of eighteen parties.  Those parties are to receive between HUF 147 million (USD 653,000) and HUF 597 million (USD 2.65 million) in public campaign funds, depending on the number of candidates.  So long as parties account for how they spent the money, they need not return any part of it regardless of how well or poorly they perform on election day.

The generous provisions of the new election law with regard to public campaign financing are excessive by design in a deliberate (and cynical) attempt on the part of the governing Fidesz-KDNP party to split the opposition vote among a plethora of parties and candidates.

There is growing concern that many of the parties established in the run up to the election are only in it for the money.

Referenced in this article:

Ezerötszáz jelölt a százhat választókerületben, napi.hu; 7 March 2014

Itt megtudhatja Mesterházy Attila és Schmuck Andor teljes nevét, atv.hu; 7 March 2014

 

 

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