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Police investigate Márki-Zay’s campaign financing

September 29th, 2022

As the Hungarian police launch an investigation into the funding of Péter Márki-Zay’s campaign in the April election, a pro-government pundit accuses the opposition of serving foreign interests. A left-wing columnist retorts that pro-government NGOs use public funding all the time to promote the government’s messages.

In Magyar Nemzet, Miklós Szánthó, Director of the pro-government think tank Center for Fundamental Rights interprets the investigation into Péter Márki-Zay’s 2 billion HUF foreign campaign donations (see BudaPost September 1) as clear proof that the Hungarian opposition serves foreign interests. Szánthó claims that the opposition has been hijacked by ‘an international globalist network’ of financiers and experts, first and foremost George Soros. Szánthó goes on to accuse the opposition parties of ‘pro-war policies’, serving the interests of their sponsors whose intention is ‘to escalate the local Ukraine conflict into a world war’.

In a long investigative report on 24.hu, Gergely Miklós Nagy points out that foreign (mainly US-based) sponsors didn’t directly finance the opposition campaign, which would have been illegal. Such supporters, whom he doesn’t mention by name, funded the NGO that helped and financed Márki-Zay in the election campaign. The left-wing commentator argues that Márki-Zay’s foreign funding scheme emulated the practices of CÖF, a pro-government NGO that uses public funding to promote the government’s messages, runs pro-government ads and organizes pro-government rallies. Such practices are legal, but not necessarily ethical, in Nagy’s view.

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