Are these guy that ignorant or even crazy? Orbán held talks with Vladimir Orlic, the president of Serbia’s National Assembly,…
The final results of the cheating
The last votes are counted. The seats are distributed as following: FIDESZ 135, Unity for Hungary 57, Mi Hazánk 6, German minority 1. Regarding the announcements of last Monday morning FIDESZ won 1 from the list, Mi Hazánk lost 1, the electoral district Budapest 13 changed from FIDESZ to Unity for Hungary. The details are updated here: Results ►EN.
The voting in Transylvania was watched by of 2 observer teams. It was described as generally poor: “The greatest offense to the integrity of the election that we observed was people casting more than one ballot. When we observed an old man casting a ballot on behalf of his wife and a woman casting one on behalf of her son…. From 10:29 – 11:31 there was 7 voters who threw in more than one ballot and from 11:52 12.38 there was 6 people who threw in more than one ballot. This ranged from 2 ballots to so many we could not count them…. When the votes had been counted and put in cardboard boxes they were not taken to the safe room but instead was left in the hallway of the consulate to be stored overnight” the preliminary report tells us ►EN.
The supreme court confirmed the decision of the national election office regarding the burned ballots in Romania that these can’t be examined. While the Hungarian law allows voting in Romania, Hungarian authorities mustn’t care about incorrect voting abroad ►HU.
Cheating is no problem, but calling to vote invalid in the referendum is. Since the Orbán wanted the questions to be answered with “no” for propaganda, since the questions didn’t make any other sense, and answering with “yes” was not realistic either, several NGOs have called for voting invalid to ensure that not accepted or blank ballots won’t be falsified. 1.6 million Hungarians followed this advice. To encourage the voters to show their opinion regarding this act of propaganda was regarded as punishable. Obviously the opinion of the voters doesn’t count in Hungary and telling them how to prevent cheating is punishable. 16 NGOs, even those who did not call for voting invalid, but were just not happy with the propaganda, were found guilty in “breaking the constitutional goal of exercising power” through a referendum. What power? Would minors be allowed to watch sex change operations – in a country where sex change became fully banned by Orbán? Amnesty International and the gay interests NGO Háttér Társaságra were fined with 3 million Forint (7 995 €) each, the 14 others with 176 400 Ft (464 €) each. The state media until now did not admit that the referendum was invalid, including state news agency MTI ►HU.
And here a few impressions as published by G7 ►HU based on experiences of several volunteers nominated by Unity for Hungary:
Vote-buying, extra mobilisation, and the current propaganda make such a finely polished system …. the price of one vote is around 5 000 Forint at the beginning of the day and up to 30 000 Forint at the end. Voters were carried there by a couple of cars in front of the polling station.
Anna emphasises that she already knew that she was living in a bubble in Budapest, but the general poor mental and physical condition of the voters still shook her.
They voted for FIDESZ, but in the meantime everyone in the polling station committee complained about their situation, the elected members were there for the money, there were those who had plans in spending a couple of 10 000 Forint during the summer and saved for it.
However, everyone is watching M1 without exception, so the result was not decided on April 3rd.
When counting of the referendum ballots the head of the committee in addition to her frequent shaking of the head is commenting on the growing 8-X pile: “Why don’t people understand that on every question only one answer should be given.” I mentioned that this way was chosen by many based on a specific campaign. She hadn’t heard of this fact.
The proportion of elderly people who could barely see was conspicuous, those who did not know the parties at all, who knew only that they have to vote for FIDESZ, who were accompanied and instructed by their families
They asked for help, so I went to the polling booth together with one of the pro-government delegates. After the mandatory explanation, they both said that they did not want a war.
I am full of anger, despair, but since I was involved in the voting, I know there was no fraud within the polling station. Before that, however, everybody went through brainwashing, propaganda and lies for 12 years. The breakdown of our school system has also borne fruit, with young people in half the country being illiterate or unable to interpret texts.
Several also needed help …. Even after reading aloud for them, many did not understand what they should do. We asked whom he wants to vote for, then he told the name of the MP who is known there. But he didn’t know to which party he belongs. Reading and explaining referendum questions was complete chaos …. I simplified the question like this: Do you want having sex education at school? That’s what he answered with “yes.” One family came with a guide, but they also had a hard time going through the voting process too. I think a good third of the votes cast for FIDESZ could have been bought.
There is an extensive system of feudal relations in Hungary, driven by fear, in which everything that is not FIDESZ is incomprehensible. It is so clear to most that they have to vote for FIDESZ is that there is no need to lead their pen.
One may state from these experiences that the process of counting of the 2022 elections was done in an acceptable way. Within the polling station voters weren’t influenced by those manning the stations. The cheating happened before they stepped in, mostly long before. People were bought, pressured, scared, and brainwashed. In this option the elections were not free. Unequal they are both by law and by practice. And seen the reality often not even secret. In this country we need a driving licence for riding lawn mowers, but when it comes to voting the highest degree of ignorance is wanted.
RIGGED describes better these elections as they were neither free nor fair, although cheating also took place, as described above.
So don’t forget that the democratic opposition was up against the odds in all aspects.
Rigged is not enough for such a landside.
MZP is still a coming star and I am wishing him all the possible luck.
By rigged I meant all these circumstances created to manipulate the public opinion and distort the results:
from money, media, deceitful propaganda and existential dependency to gerrymandering, premium votes or opaque system of voting abroad.
One more thing, the Russian input, teaching innocent Hungarians how to use propaganda and lies.
They custom tailor messages for all target audiences according to their sophistication grade:
From patriotic anti-communism to potato bags!
First off I want to thank Istvan for his efforts writing posts for this blog from which I learned a lot.
This article https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/04/10/world/ukraine-russia-war-news#ukraine-draft-dodgers is about Ukrainian men who have avoided the draft to fight the Russians and the different responses to them in Ukrainian society.
None are Transcarpathian Hungarian in this story, which I found interesting because I know draft age dual nationals have been moving to Hungary regularly for some time now to avoid the draft. (See for example https://hungarytoday.hu/ukraines-crackdown-on-draft-dodgers-could-affect-transcarpathian-hungarians/ )The numbers of them are far from clear.
Even as a US Army veteran of several largely useless wars as seen in retrospect, I hold no animosity in particular towards those who evaded the Vietnam era draft and the horrors of war. One thing that has become very obvious in the Ukraine war coverage in the West is that our media gives a complete pass on President Zelensky suppression of his own forces casualties while endlessly touting the numbers of Russians killed or wounded. Which is actually normal in a war. Moreover, our Western media has never criticized Zelensky for parading Russian POWs for the cameras an explicit violation of the Geneva Convention.
The Ukrainian forces defending their country are unquestionably heroic but are likely suffering immensely from very difficult living situations on top of combat and sickness including Covid, and dysentery among many other diseases. Only 34% of the population is fully vaccinated for Covid so the situation has to be not good to say the least. Having violent bloody diarrhea and having to fight is really an added horror of war that I and many others have experienced in many wars. Generally more infantry die from illnesses than combat wounds in many wars.
War is totally not glorious for either the Russian kids or the Ukrainians. Many of the Ukrainian national guard members I have seen on video look to be over 40 years old and “humping a pack” wearing combat gear is in itself pretty exhausting for most middle age and older men.
The Ukrainians are waging a propaganda war too, and are wining it big time. I’m also tired of their repetitions, exaggeration and hype, but i suppose it works well since their moral is as high as one gets..
Notably the Ukr are honest John’s compared to the Russians, eg. when Peskov was confronted with the evidence, incl. an accidental drone recording re the killing of a peasant lady by a Russian APC from a convoy, he responded “But how do you know that it was a Russian vehicle?”
A particularly silly and perhaps even counterproductive is the Ukrainians’ prompting POWs to call Putin names.(but then I seem to differ greatly from the “ordinary people”, eg. Huns).
Let us be pragmatic.
The Ukranian president knows how to address elites and ordinary people.
Hail to him.
Thanks Istvan, but one suggestion/correction i.e. “our media gives a complete pass…” etc. I read in “New York Times” about both higher than reported Ukrainian losses, let alone pictures and text about mistreatment of Russian POWs. My cousin in Germany also knew about mistreatment of Russian POWS. Nevertheless, I get your point as most Americans are not informed about either of your comments.
And yes-war is truly hell-which is why I resist engaging in any discussion of US military intervention if proponents have never fired a gun, let alone gone to war. As you may recall, my older brother fought in Vietnam, 82nd Air, let alone in forever wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a broken man in many respects, secondary to war experiences.
Your perspective is always appreciated.
Chicago/Oregon Misi bacsi
This Alantic article https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2022/04/democracy-eu-hungary-viktor-orban-russia/629504/ is written by Yasmeen Serhan based and based on her biography speaks or reads no Hungarian. Overall her article is one of the endless summaries written for the US liberal community about Orban and Fidesz. It argues the EU needs to do something about Hungary and tries rather naively to explain why it hasn’t happened.
Totally avoided in her discussion is the money that has been made by large EU manufacturing in Hungary that has used the wage differential to make a lot of money for its shareholders or in the case of large privately held companies it’s partners. Certainly a comparison could be made for the author’s liberal American readers to the Maquiladoras in Mexico owned heavily by US companies. But that requires a perspective on the situation that goes over the head of the average US reader. But one can ask the same question of the USA why do we allow Mexican corruption to continue.
Her major source on Hungarian/EU relations in the article is Daniel Freund, a Green Party member of the European Parliament from Germany who has been a critic of corruption in the use of EU funds by Fidesz. He went to graduate school in the USA and his perspective would seem very compatible with the more liberal audience the article is intended for here in the USA.
But Daniel Freund has also honestly exposed the problems of corporate lobbying inside the EU (see https://www.politico.eu/article/brussels-lobbying-business-picks-up-despite-coronavirus-pandemic/ as an example). The author of the article Yasmeen Serhan never explored Freund‘s own critique of EU companies involvement in deal making and tax breaks with Orban. That again goes way beyond the knowledge base of the author of the article.
your juxtaposition of the grand corruption of the Orbán regime vs the money made by western companies in the course of legal business is very faulted. There may be corrupt dealings by some cos, but overall western cos are more law abiding and offer the best work places according to many studies.
This article this morning in the business publication Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhambling/2022/04/11/russias-deadly-artillery-drones-have-a-strange-secret/?sh=68981366779d Is actually part of what I did as a career in the US Army reserves. Wolfi and others with a engineering background may find it interesting.
It is called in military language artillery spotting, whether by human observation or by drones. As the article indicated the USA did have a laser-guided artillery round program and abandoned it due to cost, but the Russians have gone ahead with their program despite the cost per artillery round.
Not discussed in this article is rocket assisted projectiles which both the USA and Russia have continued to develop and can carry tactical nuclear warheads. The problem is the cost effectiveness of these RAPs. We actually measured that in human deaths and material destruction per dollar for each RAP which is indeed very perverse when one steps back to examine this process.
Excess death in a county (2021 vs 2015-2019 average)
Excess vote for FiDeSz (2022 vs 2018)
Nograd county 27.43% vs 11.14%
Pest county: 18.44% vs 15.36%
Budapest: 15.52% vs 2.76%
Speaking of cheating … Orban rebuilt the economy soon after 2010 so that 1/3 of the population can live a good “life” at the expense of 2/3. The tax system distributes the burden to the poorer. I fear that few have understood this. Let’s take the educators, assuming that they are the most intelligent electorate, many of whom have not yet understood that they are part of the 2/3 that Orban’s system virtually embodies. How many of them voted for Orban’s fizesz would not even interest me or why … but honestly I see the fraud right there.
This is a key insight. Ironically, the 1/3 who live in Budapest benefit from the tax burden, but understand that it is not equitable in the short-term and will ultimately so harm the Hungarian economy in the long-term, that even they will be impacted.
Well, the happy few in advantage of the FIDESZ taxation are found everywhere in the country, the richest Hungarian is not registered in Budapest as far as I know. The play with 1/3 and 2/3 Don did fits politically very well, but not economically. The main misunderstanding is that Budapest by generating so much more of GDP would result in richer people. This is definitely not true. Even less if you take the purchase power into the account. A basic school teacher earns the same, whether he works in Budapest or a small village. And now pay for housing!
Yes, after four or five years of studying she gets around 500 Euro a month.
Teachers who have not yet understood that it is Orban’s policy to impoverish the population so that they can be cheap labor for nationals and foreigners and thus more grateful for a sack of potatoes, strike for more salary. 😀 But maybe they are not so stupid and just want their Judas wage, but maybe not.
Well, teachers were just an example, it is a fact that only a few get better paid just for paying high rent / house prices in Budapest. If you look at the number of those who studied to become teacher and with their exam go to work elsewhere (it is the majority now) and the extreme low number of those starting studies to become teachers shows that really a lot understood. And there is a little bit good left in some humans, so I expect that some teachers teach despite of their payment. And the strike? Will be continued soon. The interruption of the strike was done to enable the formation of a new government. One union already announced to go on, since nothing changed at all.
Oh yes, now it’s the glorious teachers who work for a pittance if need be. Well then everything is fine only …
Teachers were just an example, when you finally understand it after 12 years and then vote for Fidesz. I’m curious what Orban says about it when the teachers who have understood Orban that he does not pay more money, but they want to have more money. After all, they dumb down the students in the national interest and they do it well, isn’t it.
Yes, the biggest problem I see is the lack of sustainability. Education is sustainable but not the Hungarian one as you can see.
‘The Fidesz 2/3 majority in Parliament
[= absolute power in Hungary]
depended on election fraud again’
This article https://ridl.io/en/from-kremlin-courtiers-to-propaganda-serfdom/ shows how all of the Russian elite must now put on public displays of total support for Russia’s war in Ukraine. I suspect both Orban and Trump here in the USA are envious of Putin’s power to terrorize their own elites into total obedience.
You know – If the Hungarian opposition-leaning people are intent on turning the tables at any time, not just surviving the scheduled elections, they must accept and encourage some independent youth culture (and blindness to the development of commercial potential doesn’t motivate young people to be enterprising either).
A young, underground, political media-scene, out of the reach of the stale official media and a social scene, open to dialogue and international EU-youth at grass-root level, debate and interaction without official and parental involvement has to be accepted as an investment in future survival and development.
The East European control-culture needs to adapt to the times. It didn’t happen in ’68 or ’91, but it could happen, if Eastern Europeans would dare to trust their kids enough to allow it.
More dough to steal:
Hungary is about to receive about 10% or 0.3 billion euros from the 3.5 billion fund earmarked for the Ukrainian refugees.
So, all the government needs to do is to complete the documentation for the use of the money…
Helping the refugees has been largely left to the charity NGOs and to the local councils with some local private cos involved too. After years of neglect and deconstruction the gov’s Országos Idegenrendészeti Főigazgatóság and Katasztrofa Védelem ave no more than a few hundred beds.
The gov does good co-ordination and offers companies some fin assistance for hiring foreign workers (which are badly needed in several industries). according to this article.
My impression is that generally the Orbàn regime is doing as little as they can, but talking/showing how much “Hungary does” (ie. all the others mentioned above) suggesting government’s role. I’d take the official Hu numbers re the refugees with a grain of salt since Orbàn has been claiming money for the refugee crisis.
Fidesz would not have 2/3 majority = absolute power without the “winners’ compensation” and the “mail-in” votes
Extra seats for FiDeSz by the quirks of Orban’s election law.
“winner’s compensation” + “mail-in” votes + “ethnic” seat
2014: 6 + 1 + 0 = 7
2018: 5 + 0 + 1 = 6
2022: 5 + 2 + 1 = 8
2018 was tricky. “winner’s compensation” alone would have yielded only 5 seats, “mail-in votes” alone 0 seats, but the two effects combined gave 7 extra seats to FiDeSz
2018: (5++0) + 1 = 8
This winner’s compensation is enough to declare a negation of lawful governing.
So this link is for Wolfi and our other friends in Germany https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/13/reactivate-air-raid-sirens-germany-needs-wake-up/ . My initial reaction is Hoyer is absurd if she thinks that in anyway a Russian nuclear attack on Germany is survivable or will be limited to smaller tactical nukes on Iskander missiles in coming from Kaliningrad, what about the much more powerful warheads at the front of Russian ICBMs or submarine based systems with a yield of between 300 and 800 kilotonnes [of TNT equivalent]? Three hundred kilotonnes is enough to completely destroy Washington DC, London, Paris, or Berlin.
The idea that these missiles can be intercepted is also delusional, because if only one gets though to hit Berlin it will be destroyed. As of early 2022, it is reasonably estimated that Russia has a stockpile of approximately 4,477 nuclear warheads assigned for use by long-range strategic launchers and shorter-range tactical nuclear forces.
The highest yield warhead in the U.S. arsenal currently is the B83-1, a 1.2-megaton strategic gravity bomb (80 times more destructive than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima and a photo is below). A bomb that size even if intercepted anywhere near Berlin will create a massive explosion in the air and significant nuclear fallout.
Hoyer’s article reflects a real lack of knowledge from a reasonably intelligent person about modern nuclear warfare. Air raid sirens will not save even the small number of Berliners who get to shelters because they will likely suffocate or become chronically ill with radiation poisoning. We should all be concerned about Putin’s threats to unleash nuclear war, but it’s a war of extermination for most people with only the elites surviving in deep shelters with air purification systems and massive food stores. Even these elites will be wearing radiation suits when they do emerge.
Istvan is instructive, as usual. I wonder if the putative surviving elite have properly thought it through. What happens when, inevitably they have leave the bunker?
One of their greatest concerns must be their personal security within Russia.
Istvan, thanks for these clear words!
I learned about this 60 years ago working for the German civil defense – and I was shocked.
MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction…
This CNN story https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/14/europe/ukraine-war-russia-trucks-logistics-intl-hnk-ml/index.html is actually very good. Russian corruption in its military is part of the problem, but all militaries have corruption including here in the USA. China has even had numerous corrupt generals jailed or executed in the last 15 years. But in Russia the corruption is linked to Putin’s own mafia state so it’s chronic as the CNN article shows.
Most of our corruption in the US Department of Defense is based on fake bids to win contracts that inevitably create cost overruns. The maintenance issues the Russians face are huge because it is being done largely by unskilled conscripts serving only one year. In the US Army techs are really given almost a full year of training and know they will be marketable after Army service.
This story about the Russian cruiser hit by a Ukrainian missile is actually very frightening https://dip.org.ua/en/russia/experts-say-cruiser-moskva-may-have-nuclear-warheads/ .
Well, Istvan, it really is. But:
“cruiser “Moskva” is part of the permanent readiness forces of the Black Sea Fleet, so it must be able to quickly go to the open sea to perform combat missions. Reloading the warheads of the P-500/1000 missile is a time-consuming task and should only be carried out at the base.”
A nuclear threat she ain’t no more. Congratulations Pentagon/Kiev. Keep it up
The Russians just admitted a few minutes ago the Moskva has sunk. They still will not admit it was hit by a Ukrainian missile.
From my corner of the Baltic, having once experienced conscription in the oldest (and by far, the most experienced) navy in the entire region, I’d say that the Russian navy had a rotting molar pulled from their jaw.
If they can’t replace that antiquated “flagship”/Potemkin with someting much better, more agile and adaptive with modern vessel-defense and air-connectivity, in a couple of weeks, I’d say they have a basic naval resource problem.
Disregarding the submarines, most bigger Russian naval units look like outdated “porcupine” vessels, relying on old and extremely fuel-consuming turbines for speed and very limited off-base replenishment capababilities. Not a match for a modern navy. Missile armament is a real threat, but by itself, not a naval survival factor.
Let us hope the Ukrainians will inflict similar damage on the rest of the Russian Black Sea forces.
now the election is over, Márki-Zay finally got invited to a nearly 50-minute interview with Hungarian state TV:
Gyurcsany has reignited the topic he cannot win, According to him if his wife had led the opposition Orban would have been defeated. Marki Zay replied that you would have to be crazy to believe the Gyurcsany couple could win an election.
This election could not be won by any other opposition leader. That seems pretty obvious. I wonder why Gyurcsany has raised this point even if he does believe that it is true?
I agree with you that nobody else could have won the election among the opposition candidates (in any case, we – the opposition voters – chose MZP in the primaries, so that would be at least partly our fault). Personally I’ve never been a fan of Gyurcsány’s, but I guess from his perspective he has managed to establish DK as the largest opposition party in parliament so it’s impossible for anyone wanting to create a united opposition to ignore him and his party
If Hungary is to return to the free world some very serious and difficult questions will have to be addressed. With the world economy in and heading for a serious crises and war raging in Europe I doubt if anyone would regard Hungary’s self inflicted catastrophe as deserving much attention and least of all any priority. My own view is that the extent of the EU and US involvement should be to limit the damage the Orban regime can inflict on the EU and on NATO. That process seems to be underway.
It seems to have dawned on the US Administration that the free world simply cannot allow an aggressive and delusional regime to gain any further territory. This war is in the process of escalation. We will all pay the price of the misreading by Washington and by NATO of the military threat Putin has demonstrably represented in the light of Georgia, Crimea and Syria, to name but three. This situation has been allowed to drift to the present crises by an approach strongly reminiscent of the events leading to WW2. My hope is that very soon NATO will deploy troops and weapons in Ukraine and help liberate the occupied territories. The risk of engagement with nuclear forces has been there for decades and will continue to be present until effective disarmament. That risk, I hope will not stop every effort being made to defeat Putin and to liberate Ukraine.
imho the main question now is:
Did Gyurcsány’s DK really join/unite with the United Oppostion?
And, having followed independent Hungarian media prior to the election, my opinion is: NO.
DK made a lot of “own” differing statements, so there was no truly united campaign. That may be also caused by MZP preferring to go mostly on his own. Anyway the opposition was “United” only on paper and not at heart.
THAT was the main problem! And that caused the main damage. in the “fight” against the myghti lidur and ‘is Co’s!
PS: I wonder what our dear Eva would have written about that…
Well I guess any coalition that ranges from DK to Jobbik will find it difficult to be fully united, especially when all the parties spend 3 1/2 years before the elections competing with each other, any genuine cooperation will require the parties to work together from now until 2026, but that’s not going to happen unfortunately.
As you say, MZP is also a bit of a “loose cannon” who says what he thinks…
Don’t forget even Márki-Zay was described in the government propaganda as Gyurcsány’s puppet, “mini Feri” and all that gargabe, and a lot of people actually believed that.
Re. what would dear Eva have written: I’ve thought about how disappointed she would have been, but she was also an eternal optimist and I think quite close to Gyurcsány politically and always seemed to defend him (I wouldn’t be surprised if they had been in regular contact with each other)