Hungarian Conservative

Karácsony Wins with 41 Votes After Recount, But Two Procedures of Appeal Still Pending

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony at the protest outside the headquarters of the National Election Commission demanding the purity of elections on 14 June 2024 in central Budapest.
Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony at the protest outside the headquarters of the National Election Commission demanding the purity of elections on 14 June 2024 in central Budapest.
Zoltán Máthé/MTI
The recount, which was conducted publicly, and began this morning in the aula of the NVB headquarters, was concluded in the afternoon, but the members of the National Election Commission deliberated for hours afterwards, before finally announcing the result at around 8 p.m. It turned out there were indeed hundreds of ballots invalidated erroneously which should have been considered valid, as Vitézy and his team suspected. The recount established that ultimately Gergely Karácsony received just 41 more votes than Dávid Vitézy.

Dávid Vitézy has congratulated incumbent Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony on his victory, announced earlier this evening after the recount was officially completed and its result validated by the National Election Commission (NVB).

As we reported, after the results of the mayoral election were announced last Sunday, Vitézy almost immediately asked for the recount of invalid ballots in all Budapest districts, his team arguing that there was an exceptionally high number of votes, more than 24,000, cast that were deemed invalid. According to the Vitézy campaign team, Fidesz candidate Alexandra Szentkirályi’s name, following her last minute withdrawal from the race, was not unequivocally and visibly crossed out on all ballots. This may have resulted in people mistakenly voting for her first, and only then, after realizing the mistake, for another candidate (most likely Vitézy). These ballots, mistakenly, may have been deemed invalid, it was claimed. The National Election Commission approved the appeal and ordered the recount of ballots.

The recount, which was conducted publicly, and began this morning in the aula of the NVB headquarters, was concluded in the afternoon, but the members of the National Election Commission deliberated for hours afterwards, before finally announcing the result at around 8 p.m.

It turned out there were indeed hundreds of ballots invalidated erroneously which should have been considered valid, as Vitézy and his team suspected.

The recount established that ultimately Gergely Karácsony received just 41 more votes than Dávid Vitézy,

which means that the overwhelming majority of the erroneously invalidated votes were cast for Vitézy, but some for Karácsony as well.

While the NVB members were working and the media and interested parties were waiting in suspense for the decision to be made public, a demonstration was ongoing outside the building, in support of Karácsony, and his demand that the entire chief mayoral election be repeated in Budapest. Gergely Karácsony has in fact announced that he is lodging an appeal with the NVB asking for the entire election to be redone, citing serious irregularities in the recount process, including during the collection of ballots for the recount from the various polling stations.

Vitézy, on the other hand, also appealed the result of the election in the 4th and 7th districts, claiming that voters were deliberately misled in those two Budapest quarters. Apparently, very fine tip markers were used to cross out Szentkirályi’s name, making the change to the ballot sheet hardly visible at all. The NVB has rejected the appeal this evening, but Vitézy has already signalled he will appeal the decision with the Hungarian Supreme Court, the Kúria.

So, although the winner of the mayoral election has been announced, the contention is far from being over, with two legal procedures still pending.


Related articles:

Incumbent Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony Wins in Tightest Ever Race, But Dávid Vitézy Aims for Recount  
Alexandra Szentkirályi Withdraws from Mayoral Race, Asks Voters to Support Vitézy
The recount, which was conducted publicly, and began this morning in the aula of the NVB headquarters, was concluded in the afternoon, but the members of the National Election Commission deliberated for hours afterwards, before finally announcing the result at around 8 p.m. It turned out there were indeed hundreds of ballots invalidated erroneously which should have been considered valid, as Vitézy and his team suspected. The recount established that ultimately Gergely Karácsony received just 41 more votes than Dávid Vitézy.

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