Fidesz operatives offered money and firewood for votes.
Economical weekly HVG released an amateur video today which it claims is “evidence that Fidesz cheated” in last Sunday’s by-election held in Baja’s 32nd district. The film shows a meeting in which a man in a leather jacket appears to pay four men a total of HUF 200,000 (USD 950) for services allegedly rendered during the by-election held on September 22nd. He then instructs them to offer HUF 50,000 (USD 225) and two cubic meters of firewood to families to vote for Fidesz city council candidate Csaba Kovács in by-election scheduled for 13 October.
The men sitting around the table complain that they only received HUF 10,000 (USD 45) each even though the candidate had allegedly promised them HUF 50,000 (USD 225). “We performed beautifully, delivered the votes, and they filled in their ballots for Csaba Kovács. And your people even won. We came back from the polls and what did we get from Szilveszter? He said Csaba Kovács had sent us HUF 10,000 each!”
“This time you won’t be screwed because now I’ve been put in charge,” responds the man, removing a roll of money from his leather jacket. “I’m leaving this here for you. And if tomorrow the election is over and we know towards evening that Fidesz won, on Monday I’m going to send all of you the wood and bring the rest of the money to you personally.”
“The only other thing I ask is that there are a couple of names of people in István Nagy street you need to tell to go vote.” He removes a piece of paper and reads out the names.
One of the other men in the room says “I have to tell you honestly that in our hearts we would prefer to vote for (joint opposition candidate) Melinda (Teket).” To this the man in the leather jacket responds “if you vote for Melinda there will be no profit for you because she can’t take care of your electricity and water.”
A new by-election was held in Baja’s 32nd district on October 13th after a court ruled that one of the parties had violated election law by campaigning on the date of the election. In the repeat election Fidesz City Council candidate Csaba Kovács won by almost the same number of votes as before.
HVG reports that shortly after the video was released Baja Mayor Robert Zsigo (Fidesz) issued the following statement:
“I do not know the people appearing in the video. They have nothing to do with Fidesz’s Baja chapter. In my opinion this is a staged scene intending to discredit. It reinforces our suspicions on the basis of which Fidesz filed a criminal complaint on October 12th after learning from a voter that a man claiming to represent Fidesz had visited him, asked him to vote for the Fidesz candidate, and offered him 10 cords of wood and promised to renovate his house. This ghost-like scene resembles what he described, or is proof that someone systematically abused the Fidesz name. We will file another criminal complaint on the basis of the video. It’s very depressing that after two election defeats the Hungarian left wing is not capable of accepting the people of Baja’s decision and are resorting to such base “techniques.” The people of Baja have already given their opinion about such lies and base techniques.”
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