Why this story matters:
The odds for an honest election in Hungary are low. The ruling party, Fidesz, has modified the voting system in its favor -- and allegations of pre-electoral trickery, like gerry-mandering or intimidation, abound.
A group of Hungarian women has thus decided to take democracy into their own hands. The all-female initiative of independent vote counters now counts over 1,300 members.
In a country where leading politicians have often suggested that a woman’s key role is to be a mother and stay away from politics, these volunteers clearly think otherwise.
Fidesz -- and everyone else -- should get a twofold message out of this initiative. First, women feel responsible for our young democracy, and are willing and able to participate. Second, the fact that so many citizens volunteered to inspect the vote points to a widespread lack of trust in the current national authorities.
Details from the story:
- “Let’s count together!” is a recently launched, all-female initiative of the Hungarian European Women’s Forum Association (MENOK). It aims to encourage women to volunteer as independent vote counters in the parliamentary elections on April 8.
- Soon after their official Facebook page was launched, it had to be temporarily suspended, due to an attack of trolls.
- The movement is not affiliated with any political party.
- Eva Pakozdi, the president of MENOK, emphasized that Hungary needs as many independent inspectors as possible. She added that all parties would benefit from their presence, since they would guarantee free and transparent election.
- “Let’s count together!” aims to have two delegates in each of the electoral districts.