Updated: Dávid Vitézy Initiates Recount of Invalid Votes for Budapest Mayoral Election

  • 13 Jun 2024 8:17 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Updated: Dávid Vitézy Initiates Recount of Invalid Votes for Budapest Mayoral Election
Dávid Vitézy, 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. Vitézy, a candidate of opposition LMP and the With Dávid Vitézy 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.

Reports on invalid ballots have arrived from 200 constituencies, he added. He said that following the withdrawal of Alexandra Szentkirályi’s candidacy for Budapest mayor there was no standard directive on how her name should be crossed over on election slips.

He said that Szentkirályi’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 Szentkirályi’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.

Results for Budapest Mayoral Election with 100.00% of Votes Counted

The National Election Office said on Monday morning that candidates for Budapest mayor have garnered the following percentage of votes with 100% of the votes counted.

Gergely Karácsony for the Democratic Coalition-Socialists-Dialogue-Greens leads with 47.53% (371,467 votes).

Dávid Vitézy representing the For Budapest with Dávid Vitézy-LMP-Greens comes second with 47.49% (371,143 votes).

Dr, András Grundtner for the Our Homeland Movement is placed third with 4.98% (38,943 votes).

Metropolitan Election CTTEE Confirms Mayoral Election Results

The Metropolitan election committee (FVB) announced on Monday that the incumbent mayor of Budapest, Gergely Karácsony, has been elected with 371,466 votes.

The committee said there were 806,142 stamped ballots in ballot boxes of which 24,592 were invalid and 781,550 were valid.

Dávid Vitézy (With Dávid Vitézy for Budapest-LMP-Greens) had 371,142 votes while András Grundtner (Our Homeland Movement) received 38,942 votes.

The committee’s decision is not binding and can be appealed within three days if a breach of the law can be cited.

It is then that the National Election Committee would examine new facts and evidence.

Vitézy Vows to Request Recount of Votes

Dávid Vitézy, the runner-up in the recent election for Budapest mayor, has said his team will submit a request to recount the votes before the Thursday appeal deadline.

Vitézy, supported by LMP-Greens and the With Dávid Vitézy for Budapest association, garnered 47.49% (371,142 votes), while Gergely Karácsony, the incumbent mayor, had 47.53% (371,466 votes).

Vitézy said on Facebook that the number of invalid votes were “76 times as much as the difference” between his votes and those cast for Karácsony.

He insisted it was a “democratic minimum” to complete a recount, insisting that reports in connection with the handling of the invalid votes had been systematically thwarted. He added that his team would provide evidence.​​​​​​​

Vitézy said he would accept the authorities’ decision “whatever the outcome”, adding that if Karácsony’s win were to be officially confirmed, he would congratulate him.

As reported earlier:

Budapest 'Set to Remain A Republic', Says Mayor - Vitézy Calls for Ballots to Be Recounted

It looks like Budapest “will remain a republic and won’t become a publicly traded company”, Gergely Karácsony, the city’s mayor said early.

“There’s still a few percent’s worth of uncertainty, but — though the result is close — it looks like Budapest will remain a republic and won’t become a publicly traded company,” Karácsony, the joint candidate of the Dialogue-Greens, Democratic Coalition and Socialist parties, said at City Hall Park.

He thanked the Budapest residents who voted in the election and those who supported him in fighting the battle he said he was fighting for the city.

Karácsony said he knew there would still be “a bit of see-sawing” before the outcome was made final, but he believed that Budapest would remain a “diverse and free city exercising solidarity”.

Vitézy Calls for Budapest Mayoral Ballots to Be Recounted

The ballots for Budapest mayor will be recounted, so no final result will be forthcoming in the early hours of Monday, Dávid Vitézy, the candidate of LMP-Greens and the For Budapest with David Vitézy Association said in Budapest after the local and EP elections.

According to the website of the National Election Office, some 22,000 ballots were invalid, hindering both candidates in clinching a convincing majority, Vitézy said, adding that he had tried to discuss the issue with his main competitor, the incumbent Gergely Karácsony, but couldn’t reach him on the phone.

With 99.26% of the vote counted, Vitézy had 47.49% of the vote, while Karácsony, the candidate of the Dialogue – Greens-Socialist-Democratic Coalition parties, had 47.52%.

Vitézy said the results showed that Budapest had “a vibrant democracy”.

He said that although who would end up being mayor was uncertain, the result “is a huge success for us … because it shows that it was worthwhile campaigning with programmes, a vision of Budapest and with issues impacting its inhabitants,” he said.

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