The election campaign for Hungary’s April 3 general election and national referendum on the child protection law held simultaneously started officially on Saturday.
Under Hungary’s election law, the election campaign officially start fifty days before the date of the ballot, and runs until the close of the polls at 7pm.
Under the law, voters can cast two ballots in the single-round election which decides 199 seats. One directly elects lawmakers in 106 individual constituencies, while the other is cast for a party list.
Prospective candidates must secure 500 signatures by 4pm on Feb. 25 to run in an individual constituency. Candidates must collect 500 valid recommendation slips to run, and they must be registered by the individual constituency’s election committee.
The election procedures law prohibits placing an election poster on protected monuments, nature conservation sites or the facades of state and local government buildings or within their compounds.
Political advertisements can be published by print media outlets that registered with the State Audit Office by Jan. 18. Television and radio outlets are required to publish political advertisements free of charge under uniform criteria. Commercial channels must notify the National Election Committee about including political advertising in their programming by 4pm on Saturday. On the day of the ballot they are prohibited from airing political adverts.
During the election campaign, organizers are not required to notify police about an election rally in advance. They are, however, required to obtain a written permit from the relevant local government office or relevant authorities for the use of public areas.
Meanwhile, the National Election Office (NVI) said on Saturday that voters in this year’s election can register online at valasztas.hu and magyarorszag.hu to verify that their signature has been listed in support of an individual candidate. The measure is aimed at enhancing transparency by allowing voters to report any suspected misuse or fraud, NVI said.
Featured photo illustration by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI