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After Successful Prime Ministerial Primaries, Opposition Eyes Organizing Another to Choose Presidential Candidate

Ábrahám Vass 2021.10.27.

Following the successfully-organized prime ministerial primaries, some of the opposition are already talking about organizing a primary to choose a joint candidate for the upcoming presidential election too. But since in Hungary presidents are chosen in Parliament before the upcoming general elections, it is unlikely that ruling Fidesz-KDNP would allow the opposition to do this.

President of Hungarian Presidential-primary Preparatory Commission says nominations may become public in November or December, to be potentially followed by the primary election. Results would be announced on February 24th, earlier than the ruling parties would name their nominee.

György Magyar argues that they are aware that in Hungary heads of state are not directly elected by the citizens, but they consider it important to at least propose someone who is acceptable for the opposition. According to the well-known lawyer, this could be yet another important message in order for NER (the System of National Cooperation – the term Orbán used for his system) “not to exclude more than half of the population from the decision-making that determines our lives.” He, however, admits there is only a small chance that Fidesz will take the result of the primaries into account.

Fact

Incumbent President, János Áder, will leave office in May next year due to term limits. Under current constitutional rules, presidents are elected for a five-year term, and can be re-elected only once. In the first round of the election, a two-thirds majority of all incumbent MPs is required to elect the president. If this condition is not fulfilled, a second round is held between the two candidates who received the highest and second-highest numbers of votes in the first round. A simple majority of the voting MPs is then sufficient.

Since the president must be elected no earlier than 60 days and no later than 30 days before the five-year term of the incumbent head of state expires, and Áder’s term expires in May, this is due between March 9 and April 9.

Important to note that this time frame fits into this current government’s term, while Fidesz-KDNP has a two-thirds majority at the moment in the National Assembly.

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featured image illustration via Előválasztás 2021- Facebook