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Baja-gate rolls on

October 24th, 2013

According to a conservative columnist, evidence suggests that the staged Baja video tape was commissioned by the Socialist party. Népszava accuses the pro-government media of exaggerating the issue, while Népszabadság, the leading left-wing daily, welcomes the opposition parties’ decision to distance themselves from the individuals involved in the fabrication.

On Tuesday, the MSZP admitted that the Baja vote-buying video (see BudaPost October 21 and October 22) was submitted to a minor party official in the MSZP headquarters. The MSZP leadership denied any involvement in the production of the video tape, which in their view only serves the interests of Fidesz. It was also revealed that one of the five people involved in the staged recording of bribes being offered in exchange for the votes of the Roma was a member of Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition. The Democratic Coalition announced that the man quit the party on Tuesday.

In Magyar Nemzet, Zsuzsanna Körmendy writes that all the evidence suggest that the video clip was commissined by the Socialists. The pro-government commentator contends that the left has again shot itself in the foot in its desperate effort to increase its popularity. Körmendy finds it particularly tasteless that the MSZP used Roma people in the staged video and suggested by doing so that Roma votes can be bought. “All this proves the presence of prejudice, latent racism and anti-Roma feelings on the left.” In an aside, Körmendy wonders if the anti-Roma message of the Socialists will be picked up in the international media.

The government accuses the opposition of fabricating fake evidence in order to avert public attention from its failures, György Sebes contends in Népszava. The left-wing columnist maintains that it is far from clear who wanted to use the staged video recording to manipulate the public. Nonetheless, the pro-government media including public radio and television take it for granted that the clip was commissioned by the left, Sebes remarks.

Népszabadság suggests in a front page editorial that those responsible for the staged video should have no place in public life. The leading left-wing daily welcomes the swift investigation as well as the left-wing parties’ decision to get rid of the “political bandits” involved in concocting that “primitive and stupid video”. The democratic opposition must distance itself from such methods and people, the authors demand. Fabrication of evidence is not only morally unacceptable but also counterproductive, since moderate voters are interested in meaningful political debates rather than mud sliding, Népszabadság concludes.

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