Hungary: Auditor suspends state funding of opposition party

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary’s state audit office said Thursday that it has suspended the disbursement of state funds to a key opposition party because of irregularities with the party’s finances.

The State Audit Office said that the left-wing Democratic Coalition’s financial statements for 2017-2018, when the party received the equivalent of about $1.57 million in state funds, “do not show a reliable and real picture of the party’s revenues and expenditures.”

For its part, the party of former Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany described the audit office's proceedings as unlawful.

The audit office is headed by a former lawmaker from Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party, Laszlo Domokos.

In the past few years, the audit office has doled out considerable fines against several opposition parties or temporarily suspending their state funding, also because of alleged financial irregularities.

The opposition says the office is politically biased and is carrying out Orban’s political will.