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PM in conflict with Supreme Court

May 8th, 2018

After the Prime Minister’s spokesman has sharply criticised a ruling by the Supreme Court to scrap over 4000 postal votes, which resulted in the loss of one Fidesz mandate, a pro-government columnist urges the state to react.

In a statement to Pesti Srácok, Bertalan Havasi the Prime Minister’s spokesman accused the Kúria, Hungary’s highest court of ‘evident and grave interference in the electoral process’, after the governing party lost a mandate because the Kúria upheld a decision by the National Electoral Committee to scrap more than 4000  transborder postal votes. The ruling said the votes were contained in irregular envelopes and therefore their authenticity could not be ascertained. As a result, Jobbik ended up with one more seat in Parliament, while Fidesz lost one (although the governing party still commands a narrow two thirds majority in the Assembly). Mr Havasi said the Kúria had ‘not intellectually risen to the task’.

In Figyelő, Dániel Deák writes that the electoral law does not list the absence of standard envelopes as a reason to declare votes invalid. The Kúria, he continues, employs judges who are apparently biased against the government, including the wives of two prominent anti-government personalities, while its President Péter Darák invited a liberal CEU professor to lecture to his judges about liberal values. Deák accuses the Kúria of placing itself above the law using the pretext of the independence of the judiciary. With its decision on the thousands of transborder votes, he writes, the Kúria ‘has crossed the Rubicon’, a gesture which ‘cannot remain unanswered’.

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