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HUNGARY: A threat assessment of the 2022 parliamentary elections

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Policy brief released by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) in January 2022

In April 2022, the Hungarian parliamentary elections will be among the most important stress tests for democracy and the rule of law within the European Union. There is a considerable likelihood that they will – like in 2018 – be marred again by serious violations of both domestic and international standards for democratic elections.

HHC new brief, in nine short chapters, introduces the major spheres of concern, explaining both the recent background as well as the threat potential to the conduct of democratic elections in the following areas: 

  • Legal framework;
  • Electoral system;
  • Election administration;
  • Voter rights and registration;
  • Election dispute resolution;
  • Election campaign;
  • Campaign finance;
  • Media environment;
  • Election observation.

The potential of a close race, the holding of a government initiated referendum on the same day as the parliamentary elections, combined with a high degree of polarisation among the electorate and low public confidence in the fairness of the electoral process call for the EU and the OSCE to direct their urgent attention to a potentially rigged election in an EU member state.