By the Tuesday afternoon deadline, six applications for legal procedures had been submitted to the National Election Office(NVI) regarding two of the referendum questions initiated by Gergely Karácsony, which had been approved by the National Election Committee (NVB).
Budapest mayor, Gergely Karácsony, who is also the candidate for prime minister of opposition parties MSZP-Párbeszéd-LMP, submitted five questions to the NVB on July 21st. It was the same day the government reallowed referendums after they had been put on hold as part of measures to manage the coronavirus pandemic to initiate its own “child protection” referendum bid.
Among Karácsony’s questions were the planned construction of the Chinese Fudan University in Budapest, the 35-year concession of Hungary’s motorway network, Hungary’s accession to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), an extension of the eligibility period for unemployment benefits, and the making of covid antigen tests free for people over 60.
Eventually, the Election Committee deemed only the questions regarding Fudan and the extension of unemployment benefits acceptable for a referendum.
Since then the referendum question about Fudan University has been challenged by two private individuals and the extra-parliamentary Volner party, founded by former Jobbik representative, János Volner.
According to the now independent MP’s party, the question of Fudan is against the Hungarian constitution because it is not possible to hold a referendum on an obligation arising from an international treaty.
The other question regarding the extension of unemployment benefits was also appealed by two private individuals along with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Now the questions can only be put to a referendum if the supreme court Kúria rejects the appeals and Karácsony then manages to collect 200,000 signatures in support.
Featured photo by Attila Kovács/MTI