Voluntary pre-registration of voters before general elections is necessitated by recent changes in Hungary’s citizenship law and different electoral procedures, Fidesz group leader Antal Rogan said on Friday.
Rogan spoke after a three-day meeting of the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democratic alliance in western Hungary’s Sarvar, at which participants supported the introduction of voluntary pre-registration.
Rogan argued that ethnic Hungarians in other countries, who have been granted Hungarian citizenship under Hungary’s 2010 dual citizenship law, could not participate in an election without prior registration. He added that the new institution was crucial to complete the parliamentary representation of Hungary’s ethnic minorities.
“Voluntary pre-registration does not run contrary to democracy – just the opposite,” Rogan insisted, and said that it would make voters more active. He added that the period given for pre-registration must be suitably long, starting as early as six months before the election and ending a fortnight before the vote.
Rogan said his group supported the elimination of nomination slips as suggested by the opposition LMP party. He added that it was necessary to rework the whole system of nomination for parliament.
Fidesz disagrees withthe Socialist Party’s proposal to make voting mandatory, and rejects the radical nationalist Jobbik proposal to tie voting rights to schooling.
Participants at the meeting asked the Fidesz leadership to elaborate a proposal for changes to political campaign financing, Rogan said. He added that the idea of supporting individual candidates from the central budget rather than financing political parties from 2014 on had been raised. If that model should be introduced, he said, candidates must be ensured equal treatment, irrespective of the political party or group supporting them.
On Friday morning, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on public radio that the proposed pre-registration system for participation in the general elections will not diminish but boost turnout.