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Hungary is approaching the end of the 2022 general election campaign. Though the campaign was officially launched on 12 February, in practice, Hungary has been in a state of constant campaigning for significantly longer. The ongoing campaign was turned upside down by Russia’s war on Ukraine. A campaign period that was set to be dominated by economic issues was wholly consumed by the war.
Hungarians are the largest ethnic minority in Romania: at the latest census (2011) they represented 6.1% of the total population of the country of 20.1 million. A new census is going on in 2022, but the proportion is likely to stay roughly the same since the demographic decline occurred uniformly in most ethnic communities; the total population of the country today is estimated at 19.1 million.

Summary

On April 3, 2022, many Ukrainian citizens of Hungarian origin will vote in Hungarian parliamentary elections. Because dual citizenship is officially banned in Ukraine the exact number these voters are not disclosed by the Hungarian authorities, though up to 40,000 Ukrainian citizens have voted in Hungarian elections since 2014.

Based on the political environment and various party preference polls showing the same trends, Fidesz-KDNP is most likely to win the upcoming general election. They will presumably gain a significant advantage in the next National Assembly, not a minor one. We believe the likelihood of either of these two scenarios of the ruling party’s victory is 70%. The main reason for this is that the ruling party has a substantial structural advantage in the framework of the Orbán regime. All aspects of this political system, such as the electoral system, campaigning resources and the huge discrepancy between the sides in terms of their prevalence in the public discourse, favor the current ruling party. The pro-government information bubble has become hermetically sealed, especially in the more rural electoral districts that are crucial for the election, and there is no indication that the opposition could break through this wall.

In 2021, IRI’s Beacon project supported initiative of the Center for Free Elections and Democracy (Serbia) contributing to the suppression of disinformation in the Serbian and regional public space. Research activities included a public opinion poll sounding perception of international actors and media content analysis of 11 Serbian mainstream online media and their coverage of international actors.

Traditional mass media and, increasingly, online portals and social networks have made information more accessible than ever before. However, misinformation and disinformation employ the same channels to spread throughout the information ecosystem. In some cases, (mis)information is banal, trivial and spontaneous. On the other hand, a trend in rising are systematic disinformation campaigns with various, often political or ideological aims. Although it is a global phenomenon, each region has its specific context and features as well as disinformation channels.