Weekly newsletter

Opposition Alliance Releases New Campaign Video Urging People to Sign Referendum Initiative

Péter Cseresnyés 2022.01.08.

“Spare a minute for democracy! Take one minute for your children to live in a better Hungary! Sign our referendum initiative!”, Péter Márki-Zay asks people in a new short video, urging them to sign the opposition alliance’s referendum initiative on China’s Fudan University campus and the extension of the jobseekers’ allowance.

Péter Márki-Zay, the opposition’s joint candidate for prime minister, posted a new short video on social media in which he and several of his fellow opposition politicians urge people to sign their referendum initiative.

“The next step on the path to a change of government after the successful primary election is to prevent the government from building a communist elite university with our money, and to get hundreds of thousands of unemployed Hungarians to receive unemployment benefits for 9 months instead of 3,” the opposition parties state on the official website for the petition.

Opposition in Race against Time to Collect Signatures for Referendums
Opposition in Race against Time to Collect Signatures for Referendums

The initiators have to collect some 200,000 valid signatures until mid-January. On Wednesday, Budapest Mayor Karácsony said they had collected "almost 100,000" signatures.Continue reading

In the campaign video, Gergely Karácsony, the mayor of Budapest, independent MPs Bernadett Szél and Ákos Hadházy, former Momentum president András Fekete-Győr, and Krisztina Baranyi, Mayor of Budapest’s 9th district, among others, encourage people to sign the petition alongside Márki-Zay.

However, no politicians from Jobbik, DK, MSZP, or LMP appear in the footage. As of now, the reason for their absence is unknown.

Hungary’s opposition parties have launched the signature drive in a bid to hold a referendum on whether a campus for China’s Fudan University should be built and whether the jobseekers’ allowance should be extended to 270 days. The initiators have until mid-January to collect 200,000 valid signatures in order for the referendum to be held at the same time as the government’s own referendum during the parliamentary elections, which are due sometime this spring.

The current signature drive is particularly important for the united opposition since the alliance showed no meaningful activity since the conclusion of the opposition primaries last fall. Instead, in recent months the Hungarian press has been full of internal disputes. The leaders of several opposition parties, for example, have sharply criticized earlier controversial comments by the joint opposition’s PM candidate.

Furthermore, Márki-Zay’s proposal that in addition to the six founding parties of the alliance, his own candidates should also be placed in potentially winning positions on the opposition electoral list, got firmly rejected.

Márki-Zay Abandons Plan for Own Parliamentary Group after Turmoil in Opposition Alliance
Márki-Zay Abandons Plan for Own Parliamentary Group after Turmoil in Opposition Alliance

The opposition alliance's PM candidate wanted to establish a new party to bring together those right-wing conservatives who became disenchanted with ruling Fidesz.Continue reading

There was only one main issue that the joint opposition tried to keep on the agenda, namely their referendum initiative. The main question is whether after months of inactivity and some bickering, will the opposition have enough time to gather the necessary number of signatures?

Featured photo via Gergely Karácsony’s Facebook page


Array
(
    [1536x1536] => Array
        (
            [width] => 1536
            [height] => 1536
            [crop] => 
        )

    [2048x2048] => Array
        (
            [width] => 2048
            [height] => 2048
            [crop] => 
        )

)