Budapest, August 12 (MTI) – The National Election Committee on Friday threw out a complaint the opposition Socialist Party had filed concerning the government’s quota referendum campaign.
According to the Socialists, the government is not allowed to campaign urging voters to participate in the referendum, and if it still does, it should take a neutral position. They also said the government’s campaign includes false information such as “the European Union seeks to settle a townful of illegal migrants” in Hungary.
The committee turned down the complaint saying that campaign activities cannot be scrutinised outside campaigns periods, and added that the campaign for the quota referendum, set for October 2, would not start before August 13. András Patyi, the head of the committee, argued that “promotion or encouraging voters before the campaign are not campaign activities because they are not conducted during the campaign”.
Patyi also noted that the government was proponent of the referendum, rather than an “impartial observer”, and as such it was “closely connected to the goal and outcome” of the vote.
András Litresits, Socialist member of the body, voiced disagreement and regretted that the committee “cannot handle a campaign conducted outside a campaign period”.