Budapest, July 23 (MTI) – President Janos Ader has set the date of Hungary’s 2014 local elections for October 12.
The July 21 ruling of the Constitutional Court created an unambiguous and clear situation in the legal regulation of local elections, a statement published on the website of the Presidential Office on Wednesday said.
Due to the ruling, no concern can be raised about the constitutionality and legality of the 2014 local elections, Ader said.
The Monday ruling of the Constitutional Court settled all disputed issues that could have influenced the order of the elections and removed all obstacles to setting the date of the vote, the president said.
Zoltan Gogos, deputy chair of the Socialist Party, called on the opposition to find a joint candidate in each district against nominees of the ruling parties possibly in the next two weeks. Gogos said he trusted that the Socialists will do well at the upcoming election despite ruling Fidesz’s “efforts before any election to make it difficult for the opposition”.
Radical nationalist Jobbik said the date would not significantly influence the outcome of the vote, but Hungary’s “distorted election system” could. Jobbik spokesman Adam Mirkoczki said that the electoral system would benefit the ruling parties both in Budapest and in the provinces. He added that his party was open to cooperation with civil groups, but not with any of the other political parties.
E-PM co-leader Peter Juhasz said that his party alliance was ready to face the October vote, and added that “if it were up to E-PM”, an agreement between the opposition parties could be made before the end of this week. He suggested that the Socialists were “playing for time” and delaying the agreement.
According to the Democratic Coalition (DK) the vote will be “neither free nor fair”. Board member Laszlo Varju told MTI in a statement that the president’s setting the date “without any doubt or concern” was “no surprise”.
Benedek R. Sallai, a lawmaker for green LMP suggested that the date would not influence his party’s preparations, but called it outrageous that the new rules governing municipal elections had raised constitutional concerns. He insisted that Ader’s waiting for the Constitutional Court’s decision before setting the date indicated that the president himself had doubts about “the system tailored in the last minute to fit Fidesz”.