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Referendum Bids on Declaring December 24 a Public Holiday and on Salary Cap Fail

Fanni Kaszás 2017.12.18.

The National Election Committee (NVB) rejected the referendum initiatives on declaring December 24 a public holiday and setting a salary cap for state company managers, as the number of signatures collected falls short of the required limit.

Under the relevant law, parliament is obliged to call a referendum if at least 200,000 signatures have been collected and has the option of doing so if at least 100,000 signatures have been collected.

Zoltán Bíró, the private individual who initiated the referendum on declaring 24 December a public holiday, has collected 70,722 signatures. He said he hopes that legislators take into account the will of the people, as according to a previous poll, 96 percent of the respondents agreed that December 24 should be a holiday.

He added, that according to the Referendum Act, sheets for collecting signatures are provided by the NVB to the initiator, who is responsible to account for these sheets at the end of the collection. Bíró is unable to account for 165 sheets and will receive a 165 thousand (EUR 525) fine. He said, the fine discourages many people from contributing, as they do not want to take financial responsibility.

Former opposition LMP lawmaker Gábor Vágó, who initiated the referendum on a salary cap for state company managers, has collected 46,875 signatures, Ilona Pálffy, head of NVB said.

NVB has also rejected five proposed referendum questions, including the Democratic Coalition’s initiative to revoke the voting rights of ethnic Hungarians beyond the borders in Hungary’s general elections.

Further, the NVB rejected a referendum initiative by the Hungarian Liberal Party with three questions concerning the legalization of cannabis, citing conflict with international treaties, ambiguity and the scope of parliament’s authority.

The committee also rejected a proposed referendum by the “Movement for Satisfied Hungary” for reintroducing the trade unions’ veto rights. It argued that the submitted question did not exactly specify which provisions of Hungary’s former labor code should be restored.

via Hungary Matters, 24.hu

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