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Dispute over diaspora voting

February 22nd, 2018

A pro-government pundit finds the Democratic Coalition’s campaign against non-resident Hungarians nauseating. A liberal commentator contends that non-resident votes may help Fidesz to secure another two-thirds majority.

On Tuesday, the liberal 444.hu site reported on a Facebook group that launched a campaign in support of the Democratic Coalition’s plan to deprive transborder Hungarians who have never lived in the country of the voting rights given them by the Fidesz government (see BudaPost November 3 and November 13). The Facebook group posted images that likened transborder Hungarians to zombie invaders. Another Facebook group with 37,000 followers illustrates its article with an unauthorized photo of a family of Transylvanian Hungarians who worked in Hungary for years. The first Facebook group has been deleted, and the police announced an investigation of the second group for the violation of privacy regulations.

In Magyar Idők, Árpád Jakab finds former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s campaign against transborder Hungarians’ voting rights nauseating. The pro-government columnist suspects that the Democratic Coalition has no political vision, and instead targets trasnborder Hungarians to polarize the public and create an enemy.

On Index, Tamás Fábián recalls that according to surveys, the majority of Hungarians oppose the extension of voting rights beyond the borders, and that in the early 1990s Fidesz rejected the idea of offering citizenship and voting rights to ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring countries. The liberal commentator suspects that in the April election, the transborder votes may secure two or even three seats for Fidesz, which may – as happened in 2014 – be decisive in helping Fidesz gain a two-thirds majority in the House.

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