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Voter registration abandoned but the culture war heats up

Pro-government columnists suggest that the government has backed down elegantly, disproving the charges of arrogance and authoritarianism often levelled against it, while according to centrist and left-leaning analysts, the government tested the water of public feeling and realized it had too much to lose on the registration issue.

Fidesz finds it wiser to drop voter registration

A centrist analyst explains how the government had to find a balance between political gains and losses after the decision of the Constitutional Court.

Voter registration annulled on formal grounds by Constitutional Court

Analysts ponder the message and the wider implications of a first decision by the Constitutional Court to strike down mandatory voter registration.

Mandatory voter registration under scrutiny

Centrist and left-wing analysts agree that the new system was devised to help Fidesz at the 2014 elections, but may backfire by uniting the opposition and turning away disillusioned Fidesz-voters.

Clash over preliminary voter registration

A leading LMP official thinks that at the end of the day there will be no compulsory voter registration in Hungary, while a moderate conservative commentator argues that the law will pass and will not do any harm to free elections.

Passionate reactions to Orbán’s improvised speech, and his voter registration plan

A centrist blogger joins scores of left-wing commentators in condemning Viktor Orbán’s statement that power is indispensable to create national cohesion. Debates have also erupted around the decision taken by the Fidesz leadership to introduce preliminary voter registration.

Who could benefit from voter registration?

Commentators discuss the government’s plan to introduce mandatory voter registration, and caution that pre-registration may not be a useful tool to keep angry, politically under-informed and possibly radical voters away from the ballot box.

Voter registration as a tool against demagogues

A liberal conservative blogger supports the introduction of voter registration as outlined in the draft election law, which will soon be discussed by Parliament. In his view such a  requirement would help combat demagoguery by keeping last minute voters away from the ballot box.

Registration rules revised for permanent residence

As Parliament approves the new permanent residence rules, a left-wing commentator accuses the government of trying to increase its base by offering even more voting rights to trans-border Hungarians. The leading pro-government daily accuses the opposition of using trans-border Hungarians as bogeymen again.

Transborder campaigning

While right-leaning columnists ridicule the Socialists for their new-found enthusiasm for Hungarian minorities abroad, journalists on the left suggest that Fidesz may have lost hope of gaining all minority Hungarian votes. A Hungarian analyst in Romania warns Hungary’s political élite against patronising attitudes.