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Jobbik And DK Back Socialist Referendum To Abolish Hungary’s Sunday Shopping Ban

Ferenc Sullivan 2016.04.07.

Two additional opposition parties – the radical nationalist Jobbik and the left-liberal DK – have signalled their support for the Socialist referendum iniative to scrap Hungary’s Sunday shopping ban.

On Tuesday, both parties said that they will support the opposition left-wing Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP)’s drive to collect 200 000 signatures over 120 days in order for the referendum to be held. Jobbik, which is the opposition party with the largest parliamentary group, said that while it supports the initiative and calls upon its voters to sign the petition, they will not actively take part in collecting signatures with the Socialists.

In reaction to the Curia’s decision, which gave the go-ahead for the Socialists’ referendum question, the co-ruling Christian Democratic People’s Party, the group behind the Sunday shopping ban, said that it respects the court ruling. “We support all referenda aimed at asking people their opinion”, István Hollik, an MP for the party, said.

The referendum could be held as soon as this autumn if the Socialists manage to collect the 200 000 signatures, although half of the total electorate – or approximately 4 million people – will need to back the issue in order for the referendum to be valid.

The general ban on Sunday retail activity in Hungary took effect on 15 March 2015 Parliament adopted the centre-right government’s proposal.