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Election observers: Opposition given serious disadvantage in 2014 [video]

Election observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) yesterday held a press conference to summarize findings from Sunday’s election and the verdict is … not exactly good.

The monitors reported that despite “efficiently administered” balloting and a “diverse choice” of candidates, biased media coverage and restrictive new campaign rules gave opposition parties a serious disadvantage.

“A number of amendments negatively affected the election process, including important checks and balances,” according to the OSCE’s preliminary report. Observers noted that “The absence of political advertisements on nationwide commercial television, and a significant amount of government advertisements, undermined the unimpeded and equal access of contestants to the media.”

The full report is due for release later this month.

160 total observers from 18 countries at election
Beyond the 79 OCSE observers in Hungary for the national election, some 81 others visited various locations in the country on Sunday. The Denmark-based Support Initiative for Liberty and Democracy (SILBA) and the US embassy accounted for just under half of these, with 23 and 17 respectively registered to observe the process.

Representatives from Albania, Britain, China, Georgia, Greece, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Korea and Venezuela also attended polling in various locations throughout the country