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The National Election Committee (NVB) has faulted a justice ministry official for writing to NVB members in connection with an immunity case involving an opposition MEP candidate who has been investigated in connection with suspected corruption. The committee’s head said that Pál Völner, the justice ministry state secretary, had meddled unlawfully when he wrote a letter to the committee’s members complaining about the NVB’s decision not to lift the immunity of Csaba Czeglédy, a Democratic Coalition candidate in the EP elections.
On Saturday, Völner wrote of the ministry’s “deep shock” on learning that the NVB had refused to suspend Czeglédy’s immunity.
Péter Rádi, the committee’s chairman, said the NVB’s decision had been hijacked for the purposes of the election campaign. He said whereas the state secretary had the right to express his opinion as a politician, he had overstepped the bounds of legality by writing a letter of complaint on behalf of a public body.
At the same time, the NVB rejected objections Czeglédy raised against the respective spokesmen of the Christian Democratic party and its senior ally, Fidesz. The Christian Democrat Lőrinc Nacsa called on NVB members who voted not to lift Czeglédy’s immunity to renounce their decision or otherwise face being outed publicly. Fidesz’s János Halász then publicly named the relevant committee members. In both cases, the committee voted 14:3 in favour of the statement that the spokesmen were exercising their right to freedom of expression. The NVB’s decisions are not final and can be appealed to the Kúria, Hungary’s supreme court, within three days.