Dollar Left under suspicion of dual financial management
The State Audit Office is unable to meet the statutory deadline for checking the campaign spending of parties that passed the one-percent threshold in last year's general election, because during the audits, we found some special, complex phenomena, Laszlo Windisch, the president of Hungary's State Audit Office told parliament's economic committee, where the question of how campaign funds were used during the 2022 parliamentary election was also examined.
In his presentation on the status of auditing the use of campaign funds, the president of the audit office said that the audits revealed circumstances that fall within the remit of the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV), therefore the State Audit Office will be unable to complete its report by the deadline on 8 April. We see from the audits that
the Everyone’s Hungary Movement (MMM) commissioned a foreign company with tasks which it also ordered in Hungary. This raises the suspicion of dual financial management in connection with the authenticity of performance certificates,
he was quoted by the daily Magyar Nemzet as saying.
Laszlo Windisch also said that the office also audits the campaign spending of parties, as required by law. The law, he added, also allows the office to investigate authenticity in case of an organisation other than a political party, in this case MMM, if such an organisation is suspected of involvement in campaign financing. Opposition politician “Peter Marki-Zay admitted that his organisation backed the opposition parties’ campaign, while the leaders of these parties contradicted one another in their statements about the funding of events directly related to the campaign,” the State Audit Office chief has said.
He also made mention of the secret service reports whose disclosed excerpts reveal that Mr Marki-Zay’s movement also received funding from abroad. “It is an attack on national sovereignty if the election campaign of the parties was also financed by foreign organisations. The State Audit Office is looking into the matter,” he said, emphasizing that
MMM is not a party, but it behaved like a political party, nominated a prime ministerial candidate and participated both in the campaign and in decision-making. It appears to be a coordinated arrangement, in which six political parties and one civil organisation were involved.
In mid-March, the State Audit Office’s president informed Erik Banki, Fidesz chairman of the economic committee, that he had launched an investigation into the case of the incoming dollars. At that time, Laszlo Windisch stressed that
“there’s a strong suspicion that illegal party financing has taken place and that the laws regulating election campaigns have been violated by the left-wing opposition parties”.
In this context, Erik Banki previously told the daily Magyar Nemzet that it speaks for itself that in his letter, the president of the State Audit Office revealed that he found violations that hinder the audit of campaign spending of parties that won parliamentary seats and his office cannot close the audit within the one-year deadline set by law. He emphasized that this has never happened since the legislation on transparency came into force.
“In his letter, the president of the State Audit Office mentions data released by the parliament’s national security committee and the investigation has confirmed that most of the incoming US dollars were used to support the campaigns of left-wing political parties. The head of the State Audit Office contacted the president of the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV), which suggests that additional taxation-related violations may have occurred during the utilisation of these foreign funds,” Erik Banki underlined. He added that, according to the letter, the State Audit Office chief also found some invoices,
raising a suspicion that the financial accounting had violated the law governing party financing, as well as Hungary’s general taxation rules. He asked the president of NAV to confirm this and provide additional information.