Hungary: ODIHR needs assessment mission briefing
Hungary faces a once-in-a-generation election in spring 2022, with a unified opposition for the first time presenting a genuine challenge to the ruling Fidesz-KDNP and Prime Minister Viktor Orban. This document sets out why a systematic and comprehensive observation of election day proceedings through a full-scale ODIHR Election Observation Mission (EOM) is necessary to safeguard the legitimacy of the democratic process in what looks set to be a knife-edge vote.
Election watchdog NGO Unhack Democracy has detailed extensive evidence of clearly persistent and concerning trends of voter fraud and irregularities on election day spanning four consecutive elections since 2018 (2018 parliamentary, 2019 European Parliament and municipal, 2020 Borsod by-election).
This document will also highlight serious training and knowledge gaps amongst poll workers, low levels of confidence among election officials and the public over election-day activities, the implications of how, contrary to OSCE commitments and recommendations, Hungarian legislation does not allow for citizen election observation either prior to or on election day, and demonstrate the small but decisive impact a failure to deploy short-term international observers could have at the upcoming election. It will make the case that a Limited Election Observer Mission (LEOM) is insufficient, and show how previous ODIHR recommendations have been in most cases ignored and in others even reversed.
This report is prepared as part of the project “European voters - together for electoral integrity” and funded by the European Union as part of the Europe for Citizens (EfC) programme.