A local referendum on the closing hours of pubs and other venues in a central Budapest district was not valid after only 15.89 percent of eligible voters went to the polls, the 7th district local council said late on Sunday.
As we wrote before, District VII Council Assembly set the referendum about the opening hours of clubs for 18 February. The poll concerns the so-called party quarter of Budapest, the area of Erzsébetváros, surrounded by Erzsébet Boulevard, Király Street, Károly Boulevard and Rákóczi Road. If people vote yes, bars and nightclubs will have to be closed from midnight to 6 a.m.
A total of 6,918 votes were cast, including 4,572 supporting a proposal that pubs and clubs in the “party district” covering Károly körút to Erzsébet körút should be closed between midnight and 6am. Altogether 2,316 voted against the proposal and 30 votes were invalid.
The district has 43,520 eligible voters and the local referendum would have been valid if at least 50 percent had cast a valid vote.
The noise of party-goers and the extended opening hours have been subject to a long-standing dispute between residents, apartment leasers and club owners.
The local council said that regardless of the outcome of the referendum, they will attempt to resolve the problems caused by clubs and tourists and financial resources will be boosted to ensure peace and calm for locals.