The OSCE election monitoring mission has released its interim report, which makes several baseless statements regarding the Hungarian electoral system, referencing sources that are either obscure or come from the leftist political opposition in Hungary. The report published Monday evening contains several factual errors, even very basic mistakes such as the authors referring to President Áder as the former president, apparently unaware of the fact that he remains in office until May 10. The OSCE essentially repeats the half-truths and falsehoods widely disseminated by the Hungarian opposition, repackaging them in a highly bureaucratic language. At the same time, the obvious political bias of the mission comes as no surprise: The so-called “full monitoring mission” arrived in Hungary at the instigation of 20 “civil society” organizations with close links to the Open Society network, and 62 left-liberal MEPs. Most people involved in the Core Team of the monitoring mission are also tied to organizations created by Mr. George Soros.
The aim of the report is quite clear: to sow doubt about the democratic nature of the Hungarian electoral system in order to have an explanation ready for the Left’s defeat at the polls.
The “full election monitoring mission” of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), unfortunately, does not even pretend to be unbiased. The interim report published on Monday is essentially a vaguely worded list of charges typically leveled at the government by the Hungarian opposition and based on unreliable sources. The document’s recurring feature is a reference to some unnamed “interlocutors.” In their so-called “preliminary report” published several weeks ago, the compilers were at least transparent enough to name the sources of their baseless and misleading charges, which turned out to be parties, journalists and NGOs from the left of the political spectrum. (“Concerns expressed by opposition parties” did make a cameo appearance in the current report, too – a “mere” six times.)
Incomprehensibly, the report puts forth a criticism regarding a supposed “government majority” within election commissions, while they choose to overlook the fact that the Constituency Election Commissions (CoECs) are elected by the local governments, many of which are led by the Left, with guaranteed places for the opposition parties in these commissions. Furthermore, it was the leftist chairman of a leftist majority CoEC who was recently called to account for showing clear political bias despite the requirement for elected members of these commissions to remain impartial.
The report reserves much praise for the opposition and certain “civil society” organizations, which would not be a problem in and of itself except for the obvious one-sidedness of the treatment. When it comes to women’s participation in politics, the OSCE underscores that the opposition has advanced several programs directed at women but chooses to not mention that for the first time in our history, Hungary has elected a woman, nominated by the governing parties, to become president. The report speaks highly of the fact that the opposition parties’ electoral list has Gypsy politicians but remains silent on the fact that the list of governing parties does as well. The monitoring mission offers some criticism of the conservative segment of the media and social networking sites, but refuses to call out any of the disinformation spread by the social media projects and the media that has links to the opposition. At the same time, they heap praise on nominally “civil society” initiatives of the left-liberal camp.
Beyond the glaring political bias discussed above, the report is replete with factual errors. Mr. János Áder is referred to as the “then-president” (i.e., former president), and there is a mistake regarding the validity criteria of referenda. In order to obfuscate, they leave out pieces of information that would be necessary for a comprehensive understanding. For instance, the report fails to mention that during a state of danger the government is granted the right to issue decrees solely related to managing the pandemic. However, they do spend a lot of ink on issues with zero legal relevance to the elections, like the prospect of the suspension of EU funds and the “Stop Soros” Act.
The list of mistakes goes on. Adopting the point of view of a Hungarian Soros organization, the compilers of the report conflate “political advertisement” with “public-service advertisement,” and go so far as to conveniently forget that it was the Curia (Hungary’s supreme court) that struck down one of the referendum questions, even as they criticize the independence of the judiciary.
The tone and style of the Interim Report, and the obfuscations (which we suspect are not accidental) give little cause for surprise. It was the Open Society network that essentially instigated the sending of a full election monitoring mission to Hungary, an unprecedented step for an EU member state. Early this year, 20 Hungarian “civil society” organizations connected to this network and 62 left-liberal members of the European Parliament called on the OSCE to pursue this action. After the final decision on the matter was taken, it became evident that the majority of the people involved in the mission’s Core Team are also closely linked to structures created by Mr. George Soros — as was exposed by the Hungarian weekly Mandiner in a detailed investigative article.
All of the above leads to the clear inference that the mission itself and the report it compiled are politically motivated. The motive is to sow doubt regarding the democratic, legitimate nature of the upcoming elections, as well as regarding the reliability of the Hungarian electoral system, in order to provide a convenient excuse for the Hungarian Left, should they lose at the polls.
The OSCE’s interim report available here:
Response by the director of the Center for Fundamental Rights to the OSCE’s preliminary report available here:
Hungarian weekly Mandiner’s exposé of the OSCE delegates available here: