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Gyurcsány against non-resident voting

November 3rd, 2017

A conservative columnist thinks that former PM Gyurcsány’s proposal to strip non-resident Hungarian citizens of voting rights will mobilize transborder voters – in support of Fidesz.

On Tuesday, former PM Ferenc Gyurcsány announced that the Democratic Coalition would start to collect signatures for a referendum against non-resident voting. Mr. Gyurcsány said that Hungarians who have never lived in the country and thus do not bear the consequences of Hungarian elections should not have the right to vote. Mr. Gyurcsány recalled that in 2014, 95 per cent of non-resident voters supported Fidesz, and without these votes, Fidesz would have one less seat in Parliament – and would not have started its second term in power with a two-thirds majority. Fidesz offered non-resident citizenship and partial voting rights for Hungarians after 2010. In the current system, non-resident Hungarians can vote for party lists, but not in single seat districts.

Magyar Nemzet’s Csaba Lukács finds Gyurcsány’s proposal counterproductive. The conservative columnist thinks that the proposal to exclude non-resident Hungarians from voting will only increase the willingness of transborder Hungarians to cast their vote – for Fidesz. Lukács suspects that Gyurcsány wants to mobilize those voters in the country who “hate trasnsborder Hungarians”. Lukács doubts that the proposal will achieve anything, as Ferenc Gyurcsány wants to collect supporting signatures without actually initiating a national referendum – which could not be held before the next elections anyway. Thus, Lukács suspects that what the Democratic Coalition is after is a list of voters they could target in the 2018 April Parliamentary election campaign.

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