Budapest, March 31 (MTI) – The National Election Committee (NVB) and the National Election Office (NVI) on Thursday said they would both file criminal complaints over an incident that occurred in front of the election office last month.
A group of “thugs” allegedly prevented a Socialist MP from submitting a referendum question on Sunday shopping restrictions.
On Feb. 23, István Nyakó attempted to submit his referendum question to the NVI but was held up by the group just long enough for a rival referendum question to be submitted. The incident allowed another petitioner, Anikó Erdősi, to submit a question in support of the shopping ban before Nyakó could submit his.
Hungary’s referendum rules state that while a question is being examined by a court, it is not possible to submit another question on the same subject, which is what made the timing of the submission significant.
András Patyi, the head of the NVB, said that although the complaint “may seem symbolic”, it is a warning that the committee considers the actions of the “thugs” a violation of the rules of Hungary’s election process, the referendum law and criminal law. The filing of the complaint was proposed by the Socialist delegate to the committee’s Thursday session.
The NVI later revealed to MTI that Ilona Pálffy, the office’s head, also filed a criminal complaint against an unknown perpetrator over the incident on Tuesday.
They said it was after the Kúria, Hungary’s supreme court, declared earlier this month that Nyakó’s rights had been infringed when he was prevented from submitting his referendum question that Palffy decided to file the complaint.