Budapest, August 4 (MTI) – The Jobbik party has initiated an extraordinary session of parliament for later this month to amend Hungary’s election law with a view to making it easier for Hungarians working or studying abroad to vote.
Under the election rules currently in place, Hungarians who have a permanent address in the country but are abroad on the day of an election or referendum can only vote at a Hungarian embassy or consular office near them, while ethnic Hungarians living beyond the border can vote by mail.
Jobbik plans to hold talks with the other four parliamentary parties on a possible election law amendment next Monday, and has proposed that parliament convene for a special session to amend the law on August 18.
Jobbik MP István Szávay told MTI on Thursday that he considers the current voting rules applying to Hungarians staying abroad discriminatory and expressed hope that the opposition parties can reach a consensus with the government on changing the law.
Other opposition parties have also criticised the electoral system.
On Wednesday, green opposition LMP said the election law “differentiates between Hungarians” by not allowing all citizens living abroad to vote by mail. The party called on the government to allow all Hungarians living abroad, including those working in western Europe, to vote by mail in the October 2 migrant quota referendum.
The Liberals branded the election rules pertaining to postal voting as “severe discrimination”. Anett Bősz, the party’s spokeswoman, proposed that Hungary should follow Estonia’s example and introduce electronic voting to make it easier for the roughly 600,000 citizens who were born in the country but have since moved abroad to participate in elections.
On Monday, the Socialist Party said the current electoral system “fails to apply equal voting rights” and so is incompatible with the rule of law.