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A left-wing take on transborder voting

August 14th, 2017

As the government starts mobilizing Hungarian voters in neighboring countries ahead of next year’s general election, a left-wing columnist urges the Left to start a new chapter in transborder politics and reach out to non-resident voters.

Népszava’s Mária Gál calls on the Left to reconcile itself with transborder voting and reach out to Hungarians living in the neighbouring states. The Orbán government, in cooperation with transborder Hungarian minority parties, have launched a project to mobilize Hungarians to register to vote in the 2018 election. Left-wing parties and columnists accuse the government of ‘vote hunting’, recalling that in 2014, more than 95 per cent of votes cast outside Hungary went to Fidesz. Gál recalls that the Left in 2004 opposed the extension of citizenship beyond the borders, and in doing so, they alienated Hungarians living outside the country. The left-wing columnist acknowledges that the 350,000 registered non-resident voters may tip the balance at the Parliamentary election. She recommends, that the Left abandon its earlier politics, and open a new chapter by addressing Hungarians across the border. In the long run, this may heal wounds and help the Left regain transborder voters, Gál concludes.

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