Domestic Politics

Hungarian Prime Minister To Submit Constitutional Amendment “In Spirit Of Referendum Results”

Although the results of Hungary’s migrant quota referendum is not legally binding for the Parliament, Hungarian lawmakers shall still enforce it, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Monday in parliamentary debate. He said he would propose changing Hungary’s fundamental law “in the spirit of the referendum results”. The “no” camp had won a historic victory “for Hungary”, he insisted.

3.3 million people had rejected European Union migrant quotas, more than the 3,050,000 who decided on Hungary joining the European Union”, he noted. “From now on, we will be representing the will of 3.3 million people in Brussels,” Orbán said in parliament.  “Since 1990, no political party has ever received this level of support,” he said, adding that the will of this many people could not be ignored. He noted the 2014 general election had taken place before the migration crisis emerged, so no political party had been able to “say a thing” on migration. Sunday’s referendum was “the only honest way” to hand Hungarians power over migration for them to decide with whom they want to live, he said.

Lajos Kósa, Fidesz group leader, said the ruling party would support the constitutional amendment proposed by the prime minister to reflect the outcome of the EU migrant quota referendum. The drafting of the legislation’s exact text is under way, he added. This is expected to establish that Hungary’s constitution rejects the possibility of allowing non-Hungarian citizens to be forcibly settled in Hungary’s territory without the approval of the country’s government and parliament.

Left-wing Democratic Coalition (DK) said it would boycott the vote on a constitutional amendment planned in the wake of the recent referendum on European Union migrant quotas, and is calling on all opposition parties to follow suit, party leader Ferenc Gyurcsány said. “It is political roguery to respond to a failed referendum by initiating a constitutional amendment,” he said, referring to Orbán’s vow to amend the constitution. Gyurcsány said he had already spoken to Socialist leader Gyula Molnár and they were in agreement that a joint proposal should be prepared for how to work together.

Since a constitutional amendment requires two-thirds majority in the Parliament, ruling Fidesz will need some support from the opposition. Radical nationalist Jobbik party previously said it would support such an amendment.

via hungarymatters.hu and MTI photo: Zoltán Máthé – MTI