Dollars rolled into leftist candidate's company
The greenbacks from US donors rolled into the company belonging to Monika Sapi, the joint candidate of the Hungarian Left in the town of Vasarosnameny and the DK party's candidate in last year's primaries, the second subreport prepared by the National Information Centre reveals. This sum itself casts serious doubts on the defence that the Dollar Left did not receive funds from abroad for its election campaign. Meanwhile, the DK party seems to be trying to distance itself from Ms Sapi.
The Left’s primaries brought a tight race in Autumn 2021 in the 4th electoral district of Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg county in the north-east of Hungary. The vote, which had a rather low turnout, ended with the victory of Monika Sapi, backed by the Democratic Coalition (DK) party, who won 52.5 per cent of the ballots, and beat her Socialist opponent by only 104 votes. Then in the spring of 2022, Ms Sapi, who is an ally of ex-Hungarian PM Ferenc Gyurcsany, lost by a mile to her ruling party opponent Attila Tiki. The latter politician secured 69 per cent of the votes, some 44 per cent or 20 thousand votes more than Ms Sapi, Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet recalls.
Ms Sapi became the centre of attention again in early 2023 because her name appeared in the second subreport by the National Information Centre for the National Security Committee. According to the information on page 8 of the document, the Peter Marki-Zay-led Everybody’s Hungary Movement (MMM), which operated as one of the main distributors of foreign-sourced money pouring into the Dollar Left, transferred 8,371,379 forints (more than 21,000 euros) to the account of DSM Consulting Kft, a company owned by Sapi at the time. Interestingly, the company had a total net revenue of 14 million forints (about 36,000 euros) in 2021 and only 3.1 million forints (about 8,000 euros) in 2020, so the MMM transfer meant a very significant income for the politician’s company. The firm – which has been owned by Monika Sapi’s son since June 2022 – has been subject to enforcement proceedings four times, the last time in November 2022 by the relevant county directorate of the Hungarian tax authority (NAV).
Gyurcsany’s party is trying to keep as far away from the case as possible. Commenting on the issue, DK MP Olga Kalman said that when Ms Sapi signed the contracts for these funds, she was not yet a member of DK. The topic came up at the press briefing of the shadow government on 30 January 2023. This was the same event where Csaba Molnar got confused when he was asked if he knew Zoltan Pava Jr. Mr Pava is the owner of Oraculum 2020 Ltd, the company which received billions of forints in foreign funding.
The next day, on 31 January 2023, a third Gyurcsanyist politician, Laszlo Varju, was the guest of ATV’s program „Straight Talk”. Mr Varju reiterated that DK had nothing to do with the foreign campaign funds, adding that Ms Sapi’s company was already owned by her son at the time of the transfers. However, as we mentioned above, Ms Sapi’s son only became the owner of the business in June 2022.
Mr Varju also had an explanation for the assignment of Ms Sapi’s company: the „election period we are talking about was not affected when Monika Sapi was a joint candidate of the opposition parties. The period we’re talking about was before that and she was commissioned by the Everyone’s Hungary Movement to organise events. In addition, it is not her, but her son’s company, as far as I know, that has established such cooperation with Everyone’s Hungary Movement”. At the same time, the MP of Ferenc Gyurcsany’s party did not deny that Dr Monika Sapi is a member of DK.
To sum up: the Dollar Left, which has been campaigning continuously since early autumn 2021, has transferred more than eight million forints to the interests of one of its parliamentary candidates through the commission(s) of the Everyone’s Hungary Movement of PM candidate Peter Marki-Zay. The claim that the payments from abroad were not spent on their candidates and election campaigns is thus at least strongly questionable. The path of the rolling dollars leads from New York all the way to Vasarosnameny.