Budapest, October 4 (MTI) – Ruling Fidesz hopes to have its proposal for a constitutional amendment in light of the referendum result on European Union migrant quotas passed with “a decisive majority” of lawmakers, the party’s deputy leader said on Tuesday.
Parliament is not bound by the outcome to legislate but it has the power to do so, Gergely Gulyás told a press conference.
When top Fidesz officials meet to evaluate Sunday’s referendum in the afternoon, the amendment proposal will be discussed, he said.
Fidesz is working to form “national unity” on the issue of mandatory EU migrant quotas, said Gulyás, adding that in the parliamentary vote it would become clear who supported and who rejected the scheme.
Asked whether the issue of who bore responsibility for insufficient voter turnout would be raised, Gulyás said, “There’s no reason: almost 3.3 million voters rejected the quota scheme.” This amounts to 120,000 more votes for the government’s initiative than the combined number of votes ruling Fidesz and opposition Jobbik won in the 2014 general election, he added.
“This means that there were left-wing voters who cast their ballots and supported the government, defying the party line,” he said.
Gulyás branded disputes over the referendum’s validity “secondary”, insisting that the Hungarian government had a mandate to argue against mandatory quotas in negotiations in Brussels.
He called voter participation of 44 percent “a great achievement”, especially since the leftist parties had called for a boycott. He added that 40.5 percent of the electorate cast a valid ballot and, among them, over 98 percent supported the “no” camp.
Turnout failed to clear the 50 percent validity threshold required for a national referendum to pass under Hungarian law.