Daily News | Nov 4, 2018 | 2
Election committee rejects LMP’s Paks referendum initiative
Budapest, May 25 (MTI) – The National Election Committee (NVB) rejected on Thursday a submission by the green opposition LMP party which had sought approval for referendum questions concerning the secrecy of documentation and the budget related to the planned expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant.
LMP lawmaker Ákos Hadházy turned to the committee with a request to hold a plebiscite on removing the secrecy clauses.
In the proposed referendum, voters would have been asked: “Do you agree that parliament should enact declassification of all documents concerning the upgrade of the Paks nuclear plant?”
The majority of the members of the NVB judged the question to be inadmissible because, among the reasons given, the sides in the agreement to expand the Paks plant had committed themselves to treating data given to each other as a secret.
Hadházy’s second question was: “Do you agree that parliament should enact declassification of all itemised budgets based on which the total cost of the upgrade has been calculated?” The committee rejected the second question with similar arguments as in the first case.
Meanwhile, the committee also rejected seven other referendum initiatives which were similar to each other and aimed at the mandatory screening of the assets of all government officials and municipal leaders as well as their family members.
Again, the majority of committee members voted against the initiatives, saying that they were indirectly aimed at amending the constitution, that they were unclear and would affect an “extremely” large number of people.
NVB head András Patyi argued that proponents who resubmitted referendum questions with minor variations, but failed to seek legal remedy, did not sincerely seek approval of the question in hand. He therefore proposed declaring this practice a violation of the law. NVB members delegated by the opposition Socialist Party, Jobbik, and green LMP voted against establishing such a violation.
NVB’s decisions are non-binding; the proponents have 15 days to seek legal remedy from the Kúria, Hungary’s supreme court.
György Gémesi, head of the Új Kezdet (New Beginning) party, said after the meeting that they would start collecting signatures to promote the asset screening of officials despite NVB’s veto and turn to the Kúria at the same time. He also insisted that NVB’s decisions were politically motivated.