Budapest, August 10 (MTI) – The Socialist Party was wrong to stay away from a meeting parliamentary parties held earlier this week to discuss a possible amendment to Hungary’s election law, green opposition LMP said on Wednesday.
Representatives of ruling Fidesz, Jobbik and LMP met on Monday for talks on the possibility of changing the election law with a view to making it easier for Hungarians working or studying abroad to vote. The meeting was initiated by Jobbik, who had also proposed that parliament meet for an extraordinary session later this month to change the rules pertaining to postal voting.
Under the current election rules, 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.
LMP spokesman István Ferenczi told MTI on Wednesday that without the Socialists, the opposition does not have enough MPs to call an extraordinary session of parliament. He said that if the Socialists choose not to take part in the work of parliament then they should not collect their paychecks either.
Regarding Monday’s talks, Ferenczi said Fidesz gave a “cynical” argument for rejecting the possibility of an amendment. Fidesz group leader Lajos Kósa said then that the current election law is “coherent and has stood scrutiny by international organisations such as the European Court of Human Rights and the Venice Commission”. He also said that amending the election law at this point would make it impossible to hold the migrant quota referendum on October 2 as planned.
Ferenczi said LMP’s amendment proposals include introducing electronic voting, restoring the institution of the popular initiative and making constitutional amendments and the privatisation of public services subject to referendums.
He said LMP is ready to hold talks with Fidesz on amending the election law, adding that if the ruling party does not initiate such talks then his party will.