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Civil Compliance on the Reforms of Campaign Financing

Civil Compliance on the Reforms of Campaign Financing

Freedom House Europe and Transparency International Hungary have conciliated with the parliamentary parties on the bill of campaign financing reforms prepared by the two organizations.

No agreement was born during the discussion. MDF, MSZP and SZDSZ support the proposal but also indicate that it stands on only one foot without the reform of party financing. Nonetheless they will support the bill in case it comes to a vote. Representatives of FIDESZ and KDNP engaged in sending their professional objections regarding the bill by this Friday.

All parties agreed on the introduction of a campaign account as well as on maximizing the sum given to support the campaign – HUF 2 million to individuals and HUF 5 million to corporations.

Hereinafter we are going to review in short all the aspects where further conciliation is needed. FH and TI suggest a 60-day campaign period whereas FIDESZ and KDNP would limit it to 30 days.

Practice shows that parties multiply (10-20-30 times) overrun the HUF 1 million spending limit of current regulations. Taking into consideration the claim to decrease campaign costs and to set the upper spending limit reasonably, the bill increases the expenses from HUF 1 million to HUF 5 million per candidate. FIDESZ and KDNP have not yet stated their cases regarding the extent of increasing the spending limit. Debate was most significant on the restriction – possibly complete ban – of political advertisements in commercial media.

Representatives of the participating parties and civil organizations have agreed on further compliance. FIDESZ and KDNP are to send their professional objections regarding the bill by this Friday. FIDESZ and KDNP have also engaged in forwarding their standpoints by Nov 4, 2009 on a) the limit of campaign spending and b) whether they are able to agree on the 45-day-long campaign period.

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