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TI Quits Negotiations on Party and Campaign Financing Law

TI Quits Negotiations on Party and Campaign Financing Law

As it was impossible to have representatives of parliamentary parties around the negotiation table since early May and further attempts seem to be destined to failure due to the stance of the parties of the governing coalition, thus the anti-corruption organisation gives up helping the parties in reaching an agreement.

On the 4th of April, 2012 all parliamentary parties adopted a joint political declaration on principles of party and campaign financing. When signing it, they publicly pledged themselves to continue negotiations on the details in May and, until the end of the spring session of the Parliament, to introduce a bill that provides for the transparency and accountability in party and campaign financing. During the last three weeks Transparency International Hungary attempted to resume the negotiations at three different dates that were proposed by the governing parties and to which all other parties conformed. Representatives of Fidesz and of KDNP either failed to confirm whether they participate or cancelled their attendance right before the agreed time.

The main conclusion of TI’s comprehensive study on issues of corruption in Hungary, published in March, was that the state is captured by private interests and party financing is one of the fields that face the most alarming risks of corruption. The issue of corruption in illegal party and campaign financing is not a new phenomenon in Hungary, but there was no chance of reaching the 2/3 legislative consensus needed to resolve the problem until 2010. This spring TI has initiated new roundtable discussions as all parties showed willingness — at least in their rhetorics — to seek a common solution.

The fact is self-explanatory, that more than 260 members of Parliament of the Fidesz and KDNP factions could not arrange to be present at the date they chose and participate at the negotiations last month. Transparency International Hungary to its greatest regret sees that the governing parties either do not intend to resolve this issue by consensus or do not consider problematic the unlawful and non-transparent practice of financing parties and their campaigns. As a consequence TI gives up being a mediator between the parties in this issue.

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