Hungary's united Left likely spent heavily on busing in 2022 election campaign finish
Last year, the Hungarian Left may have spent nearly one hundred million forints in bid to boost crowd attendance of their event on the national holiday of 15 March. All in vain, as footage proves that the gathering was far from massive.
DatAdat Professional Kft spent a total of more than 50 million Hungarian forints (about 132 thousand euros), while joint PM candidate Peter Marki-Zay’s Everyone’s Hungary Movement (MMM) spent about 40 million forints (about 106 thousand euros) on bus travel and passenger transport last March, based on information Mandiner obtained from a source familiar with the official procedure of the investigation into election campaign financing of the united opposition. According to the paper, DatAdat, a company linked to the Left and involved in the US campaign financing case, may have ordered bus services from a passenger transport company for the 15 March campaign event held by the opposition alliance with the participation of Polish left-wing leader Donald Tusk.
MMM may have also contracted with the same company in March for the above-mentioned sum. This implies that the united opposition may have booked several hundred buses with a capacity of 50 passengers to transport participants to the event, which is rather doubtful, considering that almost no companies can boast such a transport capacity.
It is worth noting that the left-wing alliance of six opposition parties held a rally at the end of the campaign, with the organisers proudly reporting that a massive crowd had gathered for the event, even though footage shows that the attendance was far from large.
Mandiner also recalled that DatAdat set up a group of companies working across several countries. Earlier, the leftist-liberal portal 24.hu reported about their Vienna-based company that along with failed ex-PM Gordon Bajnai and his circle, a majority share was held in the firm by Higher Ground Labs Fund III LP. The latter organisation can be liked to the US Democratic Party, and was founded “with the express purpose, after Donald Trump’s election as president, of shaking up the shocked Democratic Party with Silicon Valley-inspired digital knowledge and technology to get more Democratic voters out to the polls,” the website wrote.
DatAdat is also involved in the scandal revolving around Action for Democracy (AD), founded in the U.S. by David Koranyi, the former chief advisor to leftist-liberal Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony. AD transferred about 3 billion forints (8.7 million dollars) to former prime ministerial candidate Peter Marki-Zay’s Everyone’s Hungary Movement (MMM). A large chunk of the sum was paid to DatAdat, whose Estonian subsidiary also acted as the data manager of the leftist propaganda site Erosito.
DatAdat admittedly worked in the campaign of the Hungarian opposition before last year’s parliamentary elections.
DatAdat, which can be linked to Gordon Bajnai, received sums directly from AD, and also got several millions of euros through MMM. Mr Bajnai also had an indirect share in the Budapest-based company organising the bus trips. The company is now headed by Adam Ficsor, former Socialist minister of intelligence and Viktor Szigetvari, former campaign manager of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP).
The machinations raise the suspicion of forbidden campaign financing, therefore both the Hungarian tax authority and the Hungarian Audit Office launched an investigation. The staff of the Hungarian Tax and Customs Office even searched the premises of the company group. The National Information Centre had earlier presented a report to the parliamentary national security committee about the money transfers. The report has been declassified.