An other missed opportunity for transparent political finance
Political party and campaign finance is way behind the democratic norms, our attorney Tibor Sepsi writes in his essay. According to Sepsi and other NGO’s like Transparency International, the new bill will not stop the hidden campaign finance. The bill allows Hungarian citizens only to subsidise parties, but their names and the amount of the support can be kept in secret until the elections. Although the list of supporters will have to be published within 60 days after the elections, and the maximum amount of campaign expenses per candidate rises to from 1 to 5 million HUF, the bill is still inefficient to prevent corruption through proxy persons or use creative booking. The opportunity to use well-built-up and friendly advertising company networks on low prices remains open, and as we know the government covered this market through a developed network. Campaign ad spendings has to be disclosed within 60 days after the elections too. The expenses of party-leaning ‘civil’ organisations will not be transparent at all. State found communication projects will be also a big advantage for the government, as these spendings are half- accountable and will not be excluded from non-state media like parties will.