Budapest, October 3 (MTI) – Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told lawmakers ahead of business in parliament on Monday that Sunday’s referendum had been the only “honest way” to give Hungarians the power to decide with whom they wanted to live in the country.
Assessing Sunday’s referendum result, Orbán said the 2014 general election had taken place before the migration crisis emerged, so no political party had been able to “say a thing” on the subject. The opinion of the Hungarian people could not be divined from the result of the 2014 parliamentary election, which is why a referendum was necessary, he said.
Orbán said the “no” camp had won a historic, landslide victory “for Hungary”. He said 3.3 million people had rejected European Union migrant quotas, more than the 3,050,000 who decided on Hungary joining the European Union.
“From now on, we will be representing the will of 3.3 million people in Brussels,” Orbán told lawmakers.
He said this result was 1 million votes more support than the Fidesz-Christian Democratic alliance had won in the general election in 2014. “Since 1990, no political party has ever received this level of support,” he said. The will of this many people cannot be ignored, he added.
Orbán noted that legally the referendum result is not binding on parliament but lawmakers could choose to enforce it. He said he would propose changing Hungary’s fundamental law “in the spirit of the referendum results”.
Orbán said many Europeans do not support the quota regime plan, so Hungary does have room to “win battles in Brussels” over this. Fully 92 percent decided that Budapest should have a say in these matters, and this right must be defended, he said, arguing that discounting spoiled ballot papers, 98 percent of participants voted “no” to binding quotas.
Since 2010, Hungary has become a “model state”, Orbán said. It has stuck to all its financial obligations mandated by Brussels as well as its international obligations, and its fundamental law adopted Europe’s body of laws. “Hungary has every right to make its voice heard in the EU on crucial issues,” Orbán said, adding that he expects a “rocky ride” as well as “EU attacks on Hungary” and even possible “revenge or blackmail”.
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