The municipal assembly of Budapest’s committee examining alleged plans to sell City Hall adopted a report on the investigations on Monday, concluding there had been no decision to sell the landmark building.
The report, drafted by Tamás Soproni of the Momentum Movement, the mayor of the 6th district, said no committee member had come up with any evidence to support the alleged wrongdoing. The document also established that the municipality’s property sales practices were “entirely transparent”. The committee also voted down an alternative report by Péter Kovács, the (Fidesz) mayor of the 16th district, who insisted the municipal assembly’s left-wing majority “has, from the beginning, sought to deny or belittle the facts that have come to light”. Kovács insisted on his own conclusion that “Budapest’s leadership did indeed want to sell City Hall”. The documents available, leaked recordings and testimonies of witnesses heard by the committee all pointed to “the likelihood of plans” to sell the building.
Before the vote, Socialist deputy Csaba Horváth said Kovács’s report was not objective and could not be adopted, while Soproni accused Kovács of peddling government propaganda.
In a statement, Kovács said former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai had not made himself available to the committee. “It is up to the investigative authorities to find out about his role in the operations of the municipality and its property sales,” he added.
Kovács said the committee had been “doomed to failure from the beginning” as leftist deputies were in a majority and they “openly expressed their preconceptions”.