Recount ordered in Budapest mayoral election

The two front runners were only 324 votes, or 0.04 percent, apart

By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Hungary’s National Election Commission (NVB) has ordered on Wednesday a recount of the invalid votes cast in the Budapest mayoral election.

Last Sunday’s combined European and municipal elections brought victory for incumbent liberal mayor Gergely Karácsony, but the race was very close: The provisional winner was ahead only by the slimmest of margins, 0.04 percent or 324 votes out of a total of 781,547 votes cast. This prompted his opponent, Dávid Vitézy, to ask for a recount.

After more than an hour of discussion, the committee members decided in favor of the recount by 12 votes to 4. Vitézy filed the request for recount earlier on Wednesday, saying “We have proof that in 20 constituencies valid votes have been counted as invalid.”

Dávid Vitézy had said to the press after the vote that he was confident Gergely Karácsony would also support the recount, as it is in his interest that the people of Budapest see the real result of the election for mayor.

“If the number of invalid votes is 76 times the difference between the two candidates, then all legal means should be used to ensure that at least the invalid votes are recounted,” Vitézy stressed.

Although on paper, Vitézy was the candidate of the green LMP party, he is closely associated with the ruling Fidesz party: For two years he was Fidesz’s representative on the steering board of the Budapest public transport company, and in 2015 he was ministerial commissioner for the development of suburban transport.

Two days before the election, Fidesz’ mayoral candidate, former government spokesperson Alexandra Szentkirályi, withdrew from the race and supported Vitézy.

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