October 31, 2012
Hungarian Leader's Audacious Power Grab
Keno Verseck, Der Spiegel
It rained blue paper in the Hungarian parliament in Budapest on Monday evening, when members of the green liberal party Politics Can Be Different (LMP) threw slips of paper at the government benches in a reference to the infamous "blue-ballot" rigged elections of August 1947. Back then, activists from the Hungarian Communist Party (MKP) exploited a system of blue chits to travel round casting votes in dozens of different places, allowing the MKP to gain a majority.
The Hungarian opposition fears a similar fraud might occur under Viktor Orbán's ultra-conservative nationalist government. His ruling Fidesz party (Alliance of Young Democrats) used its two-thirds majority in parliament to amend the constitution to allow citizens to vote in elections only if...