The Main Opposition Party in Hungary was Fined

Politics | January 9, 2018, Tuesday // 12:51
Bulgaria: The Main Opposition Party in Hungary was Fined

The Hungarian National Audit Office fined the main opposition party, the nationalist Yobik, with a sum of 362 million forints ($ 1.29 million) for an anti-government campaign with billboards sponsored by a wealthy adversary of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Yobik, who first entered parliament in 2010 with a radical right-wing program, is now portraying a more centrist image in order to push Orbán out of power in the April elections. But his political power, Fidesz, seems to have a good chance of remaining the ruling party. According to a poll by the Median poll in November for the weekly edition of "HNG", Fidesz has the support of 39 percent of voters. For Yobbik it is 11 percent and the Hungarian Socialist Party is far behind in the third place by 7 percent.

Confirming the conclusions of a preliminary report, the Court of Auditors said that Jobbik was fined for an advertising campaign at prices below market rates. The court gives the party a 15-day period to pay the fine. The sanction is tantamount to the unlawful rebate in campaign cost, during which Orban and people around him were accused of corruption. The fine is over two-thirds of Hobbek's annual party subsidy, which is 476 million forints. The party said it could hinder its election campaign, and denies having done anything wrong.

Yobik's subsidy should also be cut to the same size as the fine, a court spokesman said. The party used billboards owned by Magyar Lajos Shimitchka, a former Orban associate, who later separated from him and became a supporter of the far right. The Hungarian prime minister had said in the past that Shimitchka had "kidnapped" Jobbik. Both the party and the tycoon deny this.

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