Election observation in hungary

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Final assessment

According to the assessment of the observers, Hungarian political, electoral, legal and media environment allows for fair and free competition of all political parties and movements. Thus, Hungarians were able to duly exercise their voting right and select their representatives to the National Assembly.

Based on their observations, the members of the mission concluded that the Hungarian voting process is robust and leaves virtually no space for any election fraud. These conclusions can be applied to the referendum as well.

Pre-election situation

Parliamentary elections were held on Sunday 3. 4. 2022 simultaneously with a nationwide referendum on child protection. Members of the observation mission were continuously monitoring the proper conduct of the election campaign, including the election advertising and the general situation of the media.

During the election campaign, the observers noted that a considerable number of election posters were defaced with defamatory inscriptions or stickers ridiculing the persons depicted. This vandalism occurred mainly in the large cities and concerned mostly Fidesz-KDNP candidates, as well as Mi Hazánk Mozgalom candidates.

The media market in Hungary is fairly balanced although polarised with some media outlets openly rooting for one party or the other. Nevertheless, both the pro-opposition and progovernment forces have open access to media and the market share of press companies is roughly equally divided along political lines. There are various big players in the media market holding a broad portfolio of press brands on the other hand a number of small independent outlets also exist.

Social media are increasingly becoming an important playground for both campaigning and access to the news with many voters using social media as their primary source of information and many news websites are viewed via links on social media. In that regard, it is worth pointing
out that some press is “shadow banned” on Facebook for no apparent reason and their reach to consumers is thus limited.

Election day

In the course of the election day, the members of this mission visited roughly 25 polling stations located in various areas of Hungary. Their findings from the election process itself could be summarised as follows:

  • All the statutory procedures were rigorously adhered to.
  • Each step of the election procedure was conducted at least by two members of the
    election commission who thus controlled each other’s doing.
  • In addition to the above-said, the members of the commission changed places after a
    predetermined time period which further bolstered the security of the voting process.
  • Every voter had to present at least two documents (an ID and an address card) which
    ensured that only those eligible to vote were allowed to.
  • Furthermore, each voter had to sign the electoral register only after doing so, he was
    given the ballot sheets.
  • The vote-counting process was undertaken by all members of the election commission,
    further limiting the occurrence of any possible irregularities.
  • On the election day itself, they did not encounter any violation or occurrence which
    could constitute a breach of a due election process.