The mayor of Győr in northwest Hungary has resigned in the wake of a sex scandal video that rocked the country, according to a report from Magyar Nemzet.
Just over a week before the Oct. 13 municipal elections, an anonymous blogger nicknamed “The Devil’s Advocate” released pictures from a video of Győr’s mayor, Zsolt Borkai, having sexual intercourse with prostitutes aboard a luxury yacht. The blogger also made allegations involving Borkai in drug use and corruption, but did not substantiate those charges.
Borkai initially denied that he was the one pictured in the video, but later admitted it and apologized for his “mistake”. Borkai, a gold-winning Olympic gymnast, has been the mayor of Győr on behalf of Fidesz since 2006. He is married with two children.
In a letter sent to the press, Borkai said that all the allegations against him were false except the sex orgy. He denied that he used drugs or that his trip was financed from public funds. Győr will probably repeat its mayoral election next spring.
Despite the scandal, Borkai went on to win a fourth term as mayor, winning with a narrow margin of 44.33 percent while his opponent, representing a five-party opposition coalition, scored 42.86 percent. His challenger has since asked for a recount of the votes, saying many ballot papers with votes for Borkai are invalid.
Though Borkai did win in his own constituency, several analysts have said the spillover effect of the scandal may have led to the defeat of other Fidesz mayoral candidates in closely fought constituencies, such as the regional towns of Eger, Szombathely and Tatabánya.
The week after the elections, Borkai gave up his membership in the ruling Fidesz party but said at the time that he will continue to serve as mayor so as not to abandon the people who voted for him.
Fidesz did win the municipal elections with a comfortable margin, having won a majority in all 19 county assemblies of the country and providing the mayors for 13 of Hungary’s 23 largest cities, but lost Budapest and a few regional cities to a five-party opposition coalition.
Title image: Győr mayor Zsolt Borkai (Magyar Nemzet/Árpád Kurucz)