David Vitezy – Photo: Facebook

Recount of invalid votes for Budapest mayoral election launched

David Vitezy, the runner-up at Sunday's local election for Budapest mayor, said on Wednesday that he initiated a recount of invalid votes cast at the ballot.

Vitezy, a candidate of opposition LMP and the With David Vitezy for Budapest Association, told a press conference that he believed a systemic error had been made, as demonstrated by the record 24,592 invalid votes.

More than 200 constitutencies have reported on invalid ballots, he said.

He said that following the withdrawal of Alexandra Szentkiralyi’s candidacy for Budapest mayor there was no standard directive on how her name should be crossed over on election slips. He said that Szentkiralyi’s name was crossed over very lightly in the 7th and 4th districts and the number of invalid votes was higher than average in these districts.

Under election law, a vote remains valid even if Szentkiralyi’s name is marked by the voter on the election slip if another name is also marked on the same slip, he said.

He added that he was not raising the suspicion of intentional irregularities having been committed, but insisted that there had been a systemic error.

If a recount is not carried out, the resulting uncertainty would undermine the legitimacy of the mayor, he said.

Later on Wednesday, the national election committee (NVB) granted Vitezy’s request. In line with the decision passed with 12 votes in favour and 4 against, the ballot boxes in all constituencies in Budapest must be reopened and the invalid votes reassessed and recounted. The voting slips will be recounted in the offices of the national election office NVI.

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