news letter

Weekly newsletter

Parliament’s Judicial Committee Axes Opposition Proposal To Change Hungary’s Election Law

By Tamás Székely // 2017.11.14.

The Hungarian Parliament’s Judicial Committee has refused to put on the National Assembly’s agenda a proposal which the proponent opposition parties said would make Hungary’s electoral system “fair, transparent and proportionate”.

Socialist group leader Bertalan Tóth said that the proposal, backed also by green LMP, the Liberals, the Dialogue and Együtt (Together) parties, would have lowered the parliamentary threshold for political parties from 5% to “better reflect the will of voters” and would also have facilitated removing “fake parties” — organisations entering the race with the sole purpose of getting the state subsidy for political parties running in the election.

The proposed system would eliminate the “discriminatory” practice of making it technically easier for ethnic Hungarians to cast their ballot than for non-ethnic Hungarians living in other countries, Tóth said, adding, however, that the proposal did not seek to strip people with dual citizenship of their Hungarian nationality.

Tóth voiced criticism of the current electoral system, saying it had helped ruling Fidesz to win an almost two-thirds majority with as little as 40% of the votes in the last election. He said it was “appalling” that deputies of Fidesz had referred to that system as “appropriate, proportionate and democratic” in the committee debate. He also said the committee’s rejection of the proposal indicated Fidesz’s “lack of courage” to compete in a fairer electoral regime.

The parliamentary group of ruling Fidesz said in reaction that “the problem is not with the electoral system but with the opposition”. Parties of the opposition “desperately demand” a new system because “they are in a hopeless situation and unable to gain the confidence of voters”. “They blame everything and everybody but themselves for their failure.” The opposition is “not credible, they work against national interests, they want to fill the country with migrants, and they are full of corruption cases,” the statement said.

via and MTI