Budapest, August 1 (MTI) – The opposition Socialists have called on the government to ensure that every Hungarian living outside the country can participate in the Oct. 2 referendum without hindrance.
István Ujhelyi, the party’s deputy leader, said the current electoral system “fails to apply equal voting rights” and so is incompatible with the rule of law. While ethnic Hungarian citizens living beyond the borders can vote by mail, hundreds of thousands of Hungarians abroad must travel to the nearest Hungarian embassy or consular office to do so, he noted.
During the general election last year, 95 percent of the voters that cast their ballots amid anomalous conditions by mail voted for the ruling party, while only a “fraction” of non-ethnic Hungarians abroad were able to participate in the election, he added.
He savaged the ruling Fidesz party’s campaign ahead of the referendum on the EU migrant quotas, accusing Fidesz of “lying and cheating” and calling on voters to boycott the vote.
In response, Fidesz deputy parliamentary group leader Gergely Gulyás reiterated Fidesz’s position that voting by mail is only allowable as a last resort. Hungarians with a permanent residence abroad have therefore a right to vote by mail while those with a permanent residence in Hungary can only cast their ballots at Hungary’s nearest diplomatic mission, he said.