Budapest, March 8 (MTI) – The ruling Fidesz-Christian-Democrat parties and the opposition Jobbik and LMP parties on Tuesday supported an initiative to amend referendum rules.
Last week, LMP resubmitted a proposal on referendum rules in light of a recent incident in which a group of thugs prevented a Socialist MP from submitting a referendum initiative to the National Election Office.
The Socialists refused to attend the meeting, saying an investigation into the incident should come before cross-party talks.
Gergely Gulyás, who represented the ruling alliance, said the National Election Office comprising members representing all parliamentary parties would hopefully put forward its amendment proposal soon.
Gulyás, who is the head of parliament’s legislative committee, said the five parliamentary parties should consult to ensure that a vote on amendments takes place.
He said the ruling alliance was open to discussing LMP’s proposals on amending referendum-related campaign financing rules and provisions on ensuring equal opportunities, but would prefer to wait for the position to be formulated by the relevant body.
LMP’s co-leader András Schiffer said parliamentary parties must come up with a legal solution to ensure that incidents such as the one on Feb. 23 do not occur again. He also called for broader changes to referendum rules.
“Fidesz in 2011 created a referendum law that allowed those in power to play citizens as puppets, but we now want to have a law in place that truly returns the referendum to the people,” Schiffer said.
Dóra Dúró, deputy group leader of radical nationalist Jobbik, said the party was open to even amending the country’s constitution, as proposed by LMP, in an effort to ensure “that the institution of a referendum in Hungary is returned to the people.”