The National Election Committee (NVB) has rejected all five referendum questions in the Pegasus case of Momentum politician, Miklós Hajnal, in the Pegasus case. According to the NVB, none of the five questions met the requirement of clarity for the electorate.
The questions asked by Hajnal were the following:
- Do you agree that national security services should be able to collect secret information only with judicial authorization?
- Do you agree that the collection of classified information for national security purposes should be subject to specific purposes and detailed legal conditions?
- Do you agree that the confidentiality of confessions, the secrecy of the defense, and human dignity should not be violated during the collection of classified information?
- Do you agree that if the National Security Service does not obtain a subsequent judicial authorization for the collection of secret information already initiated in exceptional cases, the person concerned should automatically be informed of the fact of unauthorized surveillance?
- Do you agree that parliament should require its Permanent Committee on National Security to investigate the ‘Pegasus wiretapping scandal’ and require the Minister of Justice to report on his or her authorization activities in the exercise of national security duties?
Here are the reasons why each question was rejected, as reported by Telex:
- Since the acquisition of secret information that does not require judicial authorization is generally not related to law enforcement but to national security, and in the case of such information, predominantly political decisions which fall within the competence of the executive dominate, it would be unconstitutional “if the legislature were to transfer control of decisions requiring political consideration to the courts empowered to exercise judicial power.”
- According to the NVB, it is not clear exactly what the term “collection of classified information for national security purposes” refers to, as there is no such definition in the legislation. The NVB also finds that the question is misleading because “contrary to reality, it gives the impression that the existing legislation on the collection of secret information does not provide for a condition of purpose limitation or that the conditions of application are not sufficiently detailed.” Moreover, the question does not make it clear “what the initiator lacks in terms of legal conditions so that it would not be clear to the legislator, following a valid and successful referendum on the issue, exactly what the new conditions for the collection of secret information should contain or modify.”
- The third question was found to be misleading by the NVB because it “creates the false impression for voters that the current rules on secret information-gathering allow for the violation of human dignity.”
- The fourth question relates to so-called prohibited subjects, so that “referendums cannot be initiated and held on such matters even though they otherwise fall within the competence of Parliament.”
- The “referendum question creates the false impression that, in the event of a valid and successful referendum on the question, parliament would be able to require the National Security Committee to report,” whereas the National Security Committee has its own discretionary powers.
Decisions can be appealed to the Curia within 15 days.
You can read more about what exactly the Pegasus scandal entails in this article.
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