Hungarian 'Dollar Left' received way more in funding than previously known
A recent subreport shows that a Swiss-based organisation has also been exposed in connection with the Hungarian left wing's foreign financing. The organisation supported the Hungarian opposition by almost one billion forints (2.5 million euros).
A document, prepared for Hungary’s national security committee and published this morning, sheds light on further relevant details concerning the Hungarian left wing’s foreign financing. Based on additional evidence, authorities determined that the Hungarian Dollar Left’s campaign groups had in fact received larger money transfers to their accounts than previously known, Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet writes.
A partial report came to light on 17 November last year, which proved that the Left may have received around 3 billion forints (7.5 million euros) from the US. The key figure of the case is David Koranyi, the Dollar Left’s go-to man and the recently departed chief advisor to leftist Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony, as well as an old confidant of failed leftist-liberal PM Gordon Bajnai. Mr Koranyi set up a US organisation called Action For Democracy, which transferred billions of forints to Hungary shorthy ahead of the 2022 general elections. Among the most prominent beneficiaries were failed prime ministerial candidate Peter Marki-Zay’s Everyone’s Hungary Movement (MMM), which is still spending US money on campaigns in early 2023. Mr Marki-Zay, the joint leftist forces’ prime ministerial candidate, suffered a heavy defeat during the parliamentary elections.
The newspaper notes that Oraculum 2020 Kft, the operator of a cruel smear campaign portal called EzaLanyeg.hu, also received over 1 billion forints. The company’s boss is Zoltan Pava Jr, the son of one of Mr Bajnai’s former advisors and the erstwhile socialist mayor of the town of Komlo. In addition, the US organisation of Mr Karacsony’s advisor also transferred nearly 150 million forints to the DatAdat group.
DatAdat, which was partly owned by Mr Bajnai at the time of last year’s general elections, was also actively involved in Peter Maki-Zay’s campaign in 2022. The Dollar Left’s failed prime ministerial candidate admitted that DatAdat, funded from the US, had helped his campaign by sending text messages: “They were performing a service, including sending marketing messages. I think they performed this service. There is no problem with that, so I am very grateful for their professional help.” A memorable moment of the campaign was when Mr Marki-Zay and Mr Bajnai met for a meeting in a restaurant in London.
Information available in November showed that the three organisations mentioned above received more than three billion Hungarian forints in total from the United States.
Today, however, it is clear that the opposition received an even larger amount from the real, hitherto unknown donors. It turned out that Mr Koranyi’s Action for Democracy group had disbursed some HUF 160 million more than we had thought based on all the previous transfers. The total amount received from this US-based organisation is thus 3 billion 174 million forints, out of which 58 per cent went to Peter Marki-Zay’s Everyone’s Hungary Movement. According to Mr Marki-Zay’s own admission, the organisation spent part of the money in early 2023.
The second subreport prepared for the parliamentary committee also reveals that another key left-wing campaign organisation, Oraculum 2020 Kft – the publisher of EzaLenyeg.hu, a platform that conducted a smear campaign for the opposition – didn’t just receive 1 billion 82 million forints from Action for Democracy, but also a sum of a similar magnitude from another source during the primaries held by the opposition parties, and during the election campaign. In the period between September 2021 and late February 2022, the company with ties to ex-PM Bajnai received funds in five tranches from the coffers of a Swiss foundation. During the election campaign, EzaLenyeg ran a massive as campaign in many regions of the country to discredit the governing parties’ candidates. Unlike Peter Marki-Zay, EzaLenyeg has yet to disclose whether they still have some of the foreign money, and whether their dollar-fuelled media outlet is still running on foreign funds, Magyar Nemzet writes.
At the moment, there is no information regarding from where and whom a Swiss foundation could have raised nearly one billion forints for the election campaign in Hungary.
The question of why these funds have landed with the company of a good old left-wing consultant and the publisher of the scandalous EzaLenyeg site remains unanswered. In conclusion, here is what has become clear by now in a nutshell:
We can now identify not one, but two obscure fund-raising organisations in connection with the scandal surrounding Hungary’s Dollar Left: an American with Hungarian ties, and a Swiss one. It also turned out that the foreign money channelled into the Left amounts to four, rather than three billion forints. And last but not least, the identity of the actual donors is still unknown, which raises concerns, because the money they donated to Hungary’s Dollar Left was – according to Hungarian authorities – clearly used to influence Hungarian politics.