Budapest (MTI) – The opposition Együtt party has started a signature drive in protest of the government taking the EU’s migrant quota plans to a public vote in Hungary.
Együtt also condemns the way other referendum initiatives have been blocked “by force” at the National Election Office (NVI) earlier, Együtt leader Viktor Szigetvári told a press conference on Wednesday. He was referring to events last Tuesday when a Socialist lawmaker was prevented from submitting his referendum question to the NVI in time by a group of “heavy-set, bald-shaved men” who were helping the rival question’s submission.
Szigetvari said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had carried out a “constitutional coup” last week and that he had “questioned people’s right to give an opinion on matters that are important to them”.
The Socialist MP’s referendum question opposing the Sunday shopping ban was rejected by the NVB, the higher administrative body on referendum issues, while another one in support of the already existing ban was passed. Szigetvári said the case could be called “Fidesz’s skinhead scandal” in reference to the men who helped the Socialist MP’s rival at the NVI office last Tuesday. He added that NVB went on to let pass an unconstitutional question to referendum while rejecting the left-wing bid.
On the subject of Orbán’s referendum drive, which has also been approved by the NVB, Szigetvári said it was not about the EU’s mandatory quota plans but about “Orban’s attempt to drive Hungary out of the European Union”. Együtt considers the referendum unconstitutional and will boycott it if it goes ahead, Szigetvári added.