Case closed: OSCE takes no real issue with the elections

Trust me, they tried hard. But is the OSCE an institution we can even take seriously anymore?

The joint observation mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA) concluded in a statement today that they found yesterday’s parliamentary elections to have offered voters “distinct alternatives” and “were well administered.”

While it’s refreshing to read that our election system, long criticized by our friends at mainstream media and NGO groups, “provides an adequate basis for the conduct of democratic elections,” that’s exactly what we’ve been saying all along.

Remember our first reaction to the news about the sizable OSCE observation mission? We said we’d welcome them with open arms. And that’s what we did.

The fact that OSCE experts take issue with “the absence of a level playing field,” media bias and “an opacity of campaign funding” can be considered business as usual. We couldn’t have possibly expected them to go down without putting up at least a little fight.

But what if OSCE has been looking for election and campaign fraud in the wrong place this entire time? Maybe they should have looked at the shady financiers behind Péter Márki-Zay’s text message campaign based on illicitly obtained personal information, something the OSCE saw fit to relegate to a mere footnote on page 19 of their report.

It will be difficult to see the OSCE as a credible institution ever again.