Transparency International video accuses Trump, Orbán of nepotism

January 20, 2017

Viktor Orbán (right) with his son-in-law István Tiborcz

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán makes an appearance alongside several other world leaders suspected of nepotism in a video released by anti-corruption organization Transparency International. The video, which highlights American President Donald Trump’s recent appointment of his son-in-law as senior White House adviser, cites Orbán as another example of “how leaders in highly corrupt countries around the world” are using their power to enrich their family members.

“In Hungary, the prime minister’s son-in-law has won many state contracts worth millions. At least 8 of them were given without competition,” read the video’s subtitles, over a picture of Orbán and his son-in-law István Tiborcz drinking pálinka together.

 

 

Indeed, Tiborcz’s business successes have raised eyebrows in Hungary and abroad: in 2015, along with the Hungarian police, the European Union’s anti-fraud office OLAF launched investigations into several contracts awarded to Tiborcz’s company Elios Innovativ Zrt. The company had won a series of public tenders for street-lighting developments in several Hungarian cities, in most cases without facing any competition. It was also under investigation for how it carried out the projects, and suspected of overcharging for its products. Under pressure, Tiborcz sold his company to Attila Paár, a wealthy businessman with close connections to the government, shortly thereafter. (Tiborcz turned around and purchased a real estate company from Paár the next year, thereby plugging himself back in to the public procurement system.)

Orbán is featured in the video alongside illustrious nepotists and leaders of Angola, Nicaragua and Equatorial Guinea.

Transparency International is among several civil society organizations the Hungarian government has vowed to investigate in 2017 for – the government believes – peddling foreign influence in Hungary and undermining national sovereignty.

Read more of our coverage on Orbán’s son-in-law István Tiborcz here.