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PM Orbán’s referendum on migrant quotas

February 26th, 2016

Commentators wonder whether a referendum on European compulsory rules can actually be held under the Hungarian constitution. A pro-government analyst calls the migration issue a substantial matter that is worth submitting to a referendum.

In one of many critical comments across the online and print media, Magyar Nemzet’s Zsuzsanna Körmendy recalls that when Jobbik proposed a referendum against compulsory migrant quotas, Fidesz floor leader Lajos Kósa called the move unconstitutional, since under the Fundamental Law no referendum can be held on issues regulated by international treaties. If the planned referendum turns out to be mere shadow boxing, Körmendy warns, Hungary’s self-esteem will suffer. Otherwise, she welcomes the fact that Prime Minister Orbán called the incident at the National Electoral Committee building on Tuesday ‘a situation unworthy of the rule of law’. The Prime Minister said the rules must be changed in order to prevent such incidents in the future. (For Tuesdays incident see BudaPost, February 25)

In Magyar Hírlap, Gyula T. Máté believes the issue of a mass of asylum seekers to be imposed on Hungary is far more important than the matters the opposition intends to decide by referendum. What is at stake, he argues, is what the country of our children and grandchildren will be like. ‘Is the importance of this question really comparable to whether shops should open on Sundays?’ he asks. Meanwhile, he acknowledges that what happened on Tuesday was atrocious. But this is a simple matter, he continues, and could be easily be solved by changing the procedural rules. (The National Electoral Office suggests that it should be possible for several questions to be submitted and authorized on one and the same issue. The first bid to gather the required 200 thousand signatures should then go ahead).



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