January 4th, 2013

Government not to introduce voter registration in 2014 following constitutional court decision, top Fidesz official says

The government will not introduce voter pre-registration in the 2014 general election, Antal Rogan, head of the parliamentary group of the ruling Fidesz party, said on Friday after the top court rendered several parts of the law on electoral procedures unconstitutional.

The court ruled this morning that several parts of the law on electoral procedures were not in line with the country’s Basic Law.

The preliminary constitutional review was initiated by President Janos Ader. The law was passed by parliament but had not yet gone into effect.

The top court ruled that the law curtailed voting rights to an unjustifiable degree, due to the fact that the requirement for voters to register prior to going to the polls applies to every voter, the court told MTI in a statement. It said that the option to be taken on a central election database is valid for certain voter groups, such as voting-age Hungarian citizens who do not have permanent residence in Hungary.

Passages of the law concerning the election campaign were also rendered unconstitutional. The suggestion that political ads can only be published through the public media is a grave violation of the freedom of opinion and the press, the court said. Further, it is against the stipulations of the Basic Law that cinemas should be prohibited from screening political ads during the campaign period or that election-related opinion polls should not be allowed to be published in the six days prior to election day.

Rogan noted that registration would have provided a good solution for hundreds of thousands of Hungarians working abroad to exercise their voting rights. After the ruling, this problem remains unresolved, he said.

“Of course, even after the court ruling has the two-thirds parliamentary majority both voter authorisation and political strength to amend the Basic Law and provide constitutional protection for registration. Strength alone, however, is not everything. For the time being, reason and political responsibility require us to do act otherwise,” Rogan said.

Fidesz has always given priority to democracy operating in a smooth, predictable and balanced manner, he said, adding that an amendment to the Basic Law would trigger lengthy political and legal disputes, uncertainty and a climate of chaos among voters prior to the 2014 parliamentary election.

Commenting on Rogan’s announcement, the opposition Socialists said that Fidesz had been forced to admit defeat on the issue.

The court ruling demonstrates that “the Hungarian rule of law is still alive”, Zsolt Molnar, the Socialists’ deputy leader in Budapest, said.

Green party LMP qualified the ruling as “a turn in political history”, one that reflected the “basic outrage” pre-registration had triggered on the part of the public. “Registration would have been Fidesz’s worst move,” deputy parliamentary leader Gergely Karacsony said.

Together 2014, the electoral movement led by ex-PM Gordon Bajnai, called on the governing majority not to amend the rules of electoral procedures without the consent of the opposition parties.

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  • Democrat

    They had said that registration was a good thing which would increase voter participation. Now they are not doing it, so that must be a bad thing which will reduce voter participation. Don’t understand. FIDESZ doesn’t do bad things.

    They just endlessly do stupid things. What a farce. How much taxpayers money was wasted on this one?

    • MagyarViking

      Hear, Hear!

      • wolfi

        I’im just waiting for Orbán’s rabid kutya to comment on this “success” …

        Anyone remember how it fervently defended this idea of registration ?

        Yes, Fidesz loonies are real democrats – just like Horthy and Szalasy …

        Is there any law at all pushed through parliament by the Fidesz sheep that is compliant with the constitution (and EU law …) ?

        • Paul

          Well there was this law about embroidery….it was okay.

        • Paul

          Well there was this law about embroidery….it was okay.

          • wolfi

            WTF does Hungary need a law on embroidery for ?

            Hey leto! Give us a good reason for that!

          • GyörgyMatolcsy

            To help us regulate embroidery, so it doesnt get stolen by postcommies!

      • GyörgyMatolcsy

        We never wanted voter registration anyway.
        The impression that it was “our idea” and what “we wanted it” is just postcommie propaganda, I suggest you stop listening to Klubradio.

  • Bowen

    Maybe with all their miserable, disastrous policies, Fidesz have finally realised they can’t win the 2014 elections. The economy will simply collapse by 2014, and Hungary at a more than 20-year low. Whatever shambolic opposition there is in 2014 will be left to pick up the pieces and try to clear up the mess (like in 2002). However, without a 2/3 majority, they won’t be able to uninstall the Fidesz-packed institutions, and the country will get worse, paving the way for a 2018 victory by Fidesz. And so the wretched circle goes on and on.

    • Leto مؤدّب

      Don’t you worry, postcommie bastard, Fidesz is going to win the 2014 elections.

      • szebbjovot

        It will take a while for Fidesz to get used to not having a 2/3 majority.
        Without at least unofficial co-operation with Jobbik, or LMP (is that more up your alley? ) they will have a much harder time.

        • Leto مؤدّب

          No way. The fundamental changes will have been done by 2014 and a simple, strong Fidesz majority will do fine after 2014.

      • Bowen

        A quote from Leto last July

        Leto. مؤدّب

        “Hungary has a need for a voter registration system in order to reduce the number of those voters at the ballot boxes whom your postcommie bastard conies have been buying for peanuts …
        This is an excellent method for filtering out this harmful scum.
        Those who cannot fill out a simple form don’t deserve to vote. Those who won’t go to the trouble of filling out a simple form and posting it shouldn’t vote.”

        What are you going to do now Leto? What’s your dear leader’s grand plan for reducing harmful scum?

        • Leto مؤدّب

          Don’t worry so much, postcommie bastard. We’ll find another way to reduce harmful scum like yourself.

          • szebbjovot

            “We’ll find another way to reduce harmful scum like yourself”
            You can start by locking up 95% of Fidesz politicians and 100% of MSZP

      • Bowen

        @ Leto: “Fidesz is going to win the 2014 elections”

        Well, we will see. There is still more than one year till those elections. Lots of time for Fidesz to continue its incompetent, corrupt, money-wasting schemes. It’s highly unlikely they’ll do anything effective between now and 2014 – after all, they’ve done nothing but waste time and money since May 2010.

        • szebbjovot

          Fidesz has the chance and opportunity to make real change, to fix the mistakes of the even more disgusting postcommies (MSZP), but they screwed up and wasted their opportunity.

        • Leto مؤدّب

          Fidesz has been topping ALL the polls since 2010 (actually since the autumn of 2006) and they have won 90+ percents of the by-elections throughout the country since 2010.

          • Bowen

            Actually, no. “Not decided / Won’t say” have been consistently topping the polls.

          • Leto مؤدّب

            Actually yes. The decided voters are those who matter, not those who are eligible to vote.

          • Bowen

            Except, that you have no idea how the 50%+ of ‘undecided/won’t say’ will turn in 2014. If they would vote Fidesz, I am sure they would have already felt confident in saying so.

          • Leto مؤدّب

            FYI, elections are decided by those who turn up to vote.

          • szebbjovot

            Say Leto, are you also opposed to chain voting when its done by Fidesz or Fidesz backed candidates, like in Tiszavasvári ?

          • Bowen

            “cheap hate propaganda”

            Like those stupid anti-IMF, anti-Bajnai ads that the government wasted taxpayers’ money on?

          • Leto مؤدّب

            No, rotten postcommie bastard. That propaganda wasn’t cheap and it wasn’t about hate. BTW, it was taxpayers’ money well-spent.

          • Bowen

            Oh, so you admit that the anti-IMF and anti-Bajnai ads were ‘propaganda’ then. Not ‘government information’ or ‘civil society information’.

            Good for you! Sticking up for the truth!

          • Leto مؤدّب

            “Sticking up for the truth!”

            Absolutely. Unlike you, rotten postcommie bastards.

          • Pete H.

            The overwhelming majority of Hungarian’s opposed voter registration via this new system. Including nearly half of Fidesz supporters. Are they all post-commie scum?

          • Leto مؤدّب

            I’ve already explained that “postcommie scum” is a synonym for the leaders, members and supporters of postcommie organizations like MSZP, Gyurcsány’s or Bajnai’s party. That is someone like yourself.

  • MagyarViking

    Rogan noted that registration would have provided a good solution for hundreds of thousands of Hungarians working abroad to exercise their voting rights. After the ruling, this problem remains unresolved, he said

    Well, the same thing for all these fast-tracked dual citizens in the neighbouring countries, with out a permanent residence in Hungary
    How will they be handled now?
    Will they just be able to show up at a polling station, showing off their new Hungarian Passport and vote?
    How do you prevent such a citizen to vote several times at different polling stations?

    Seems like Hungary may have to do like many other countries, seal these votes separately and send them to one place and there check that only one vote is received for each passport-number. If more than one, throw all votes away

    This has worked for many countries for decades and never demanded any separate voting register, but of course no Fidesz-friends/relatives will now have to develop a complicated register computer system for a few billion forints…must be a sad Friday in Fidesz-land today

  • Paul

    Slow down. After April the composition of the
    court will change. Orbán apointees will be in the majority. Than
    they will respond. Sigh…

    • szebbjovot

      Great news!

  • Leto مؤدّب

    Regardless of this, the postcommie vermin will carry on whining about Orbán’s dictatorship, of course.

    • szebbjovot

      “”Chain-voting” and last minute mobilization of the illiterate scum ”

      Are you talking about the Fidesz backed canditate in Tiszavasvári ?

    • Bowen

      Last-minute mobilization of the illiterate scum?

      What, like the Bekemenet marchers, you mean?

    • Paul

      illiterate scum ??

      Someone is by misfortune illiterate….and therefore scum?

      Naaaw,,,,Fidesz cronies are SCUM.
      Opportunistic, empty SCUM.

      Fidesz agenda…..holding on to power. Nothing else. Absolutely nothing else.

      • Bowen

        @ Paul: in Leto’s special Dictionary for Idiots,

        harmful scum = anyone who does not support Fidesz’s grab for ever-lasting power.

        Please don’t ask Leto to think beyond this simple concept, as it will just confuse him and make him upset. It’s a bit like telling someone from the 1300s that the world is not flat.

        • Leto مؤدّب

          Harmful scum is someone who supports harmful scum like Mesterházy, Bajnai or Gyurcsány. Harmful scum is someone like you.

          • szebbjovot

            Antal Rogán, leader of the Fidesz parliamentary delegation had no problems “holding hands” with the above mentioned names at the anti Jobbik postcommiefest.

          • Leto مؤدّب

            I strongly disagreed with that. However I understand that Rogán was sent there in order to minimize the political damage your idiotic MP Márton Gyöngyösi did.

          • Aw shucks

            Gosh, you really are a deep thinker. It’s amazing you spend all day on these comments when you could be leading Hungary into a new age with your brilliant insights.

      • Leto مؤدّب

        What is it ” Eu taxpayers will not support”, you moron? :D :D

        • Paul

          EU taxpayers will soon enough (in the Netherlands many influential people already do support this approach) refuse to support in any way ex-democracies within the EU.

          Just another example out of an overwhelming amount of facts to support the claim of EX-democracy.

          “Hungary state radio censors top Hungarian author”

          (Written by FreeHungary
          Friday, 04 January 2013 20:33 )

          Top Hungarian author Péter Esterházy was censored by editors at a state-run Hungarian radio station on a recent programme. Writing in the weekly newspaper Life and Literature
          (Élet és Irodalom), Esterházy said two sentences containing
          criticism of government cultural policy were edited out of the
          December 25 broadcast of his monthly cultural segment on the Kossuth radio station……

          “The last time I was censored was in 1981,” when Hungary was a communist country, said Esterházy, whose work has been published in more than 20 languages and who is widely considered as one of Hungary’s greatest living authors….

          In a statement Thursday, state-run media umbrella body MTVA apologised to Esterhazy but rejected the charge of censorship. It said editorial error was to blame and that an internal inquiry was under way.

          Orbán appointed a government-friendly media regulatory authority and centralised the public television and radio broadcasting services………

          In late 2011 the crude airbrushing out of a television interview of a political figure prompted two former state TV employees, Balázs Nagy Navarro and Aranka Szávuly, to set up a permanent protest camp outside the state media headquarters in Budapest…… ”

          Within the EU these people are supported, in this case with a prestigious award.

          “Media award Leipzig 2012 for the freedom and future of journalism.

          Balázs Nagy Navarro and Aranka Szávuly.

          Both worked at the national public Hungarian TV station MTV. When Viktor Orbán’s government got into power in 2010 and started censoring TV broadcasts the two journalists (among others) protested and refused to comply. They received their resignation in 2011 and started a hunger strike in front of the TV station in Budapest. In the video they state that the current situation massively threatens free press in the EU state of Hungary”.

          No reason to get EU taxpayers money invested in Hungary as long as only Fidesz cronies are exclusively benefiting from it.

          By the way….Leto…you are not normal, you are weird. You are not able to say anything substantial. Name calling and insulting is ALL you do over here. You think it will give you Fidesz support?

          • Leto مؤدّب

            I begin to suspect you try to conceal your inferiority complex with this ridiculous “we, EU taxpayers will do this and that” garbage you keep spouting, you stupid Dutchman… :D

          • Bowen

            Hey Leto, if (as you claim) Fidesz are so ahead in all the polls, why is it that you are the ONLY one who comes on here supporting them? I think it’s because most sane, intelligent people realise Fidesz are actually completely incompetent.

            Don’t you feel … you know .. a bit lonely?

          • Leto مؤدّب

            No, rotten postcommie bastard, thanks for asking, I’m feeling fine. :)

          • Paul

            “garbage you keep spouting, you stupid Dutchman…”

            “inferiority complex “???

            LOL…proofing my point right away.

            “Name calling and insulting is ALL you do over here.”

          • Leto مؤدّب

            Who the hell do you think you are when you try to speak in the name of the “EU taxpayers”? :D Moron.

          • szebbjovot

            Aren’t there any gay parades you can be at instead of worrying about Hungary?

  • http://twitter.com/AmSciForum Stevan Harnad

    INDEPENDENCE OF HUNGARIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT SOON TO END

    On November 26, 2012, Fidesz used its super-majority to pass legislation revising eligibility for voting. According to critics, this would make it harder to vote the party out of power. In January 2013, the current Constitutional Court of Hungary struck down the new electoral law, objecting to (1) the requirement that voters must register no later than 15 days before polling day, to (2) the proposal that political ads be restricted to the publicly run media and (3) to proposed bans on cinemas screening political ads during the campaign as well as bans on the publication of any election-related opinion polls in the six days prior to election day. The court ruled that the new law restricted voter rights to an unjustifiable degree and called it a grave violation of freedom of speech.

    The January 2013 Constitutional Court of Hungary ruling that the new electoral law was unconstitutional was still decided by the current Court, in which the Fidesz appointees are not yet in the majority. But under the new constitution, with its younger mandatory retirement age for judges, all new judicial appointments are now in the hands of the Fidesz-appointed “President of the National Judicial Office,” Tünde Handó — a family friend of Prime Minister Orbán and the wife of József Szájer, a founding member of the ruling Fidesz party and the man credited with drawing up Hungary’s constitution on his iPad.

    As of April 2013 the majority of the Constitutional Court of Hungary will become Fidesz appointees. International constitutional scholar Kim Lane Scheppele wrote that “it seems increasingly likely that the Hungarian government is heading toward the creation of a police state.”

  • Leto مؤدّب

    Zsolt Molnár Zsolt, the Budapest party chairmain of MSZP said that the ruling by the constitutional court and the fact that Fidesz does comply with the ruling are proofs that the rule of law still holds in Hungary (“él a magyar jogállam”)

    What a nice shot in the foot indeed, Comrade Molnár… :D
    Since the April of 2010 (around the clock, 24/7), the main message of the MSZP party propaganda has been “the Orbán regime” is so authoritarian and so undemocratic that it would be envied by even the nastiest dictators…

    • Vidra

      So Orbán and his politically sub-normal crowd have a whole rake of authoritarian and undemocratic measures (most of which you approved of on here) struck down and this is the best you can come up with? You’re losing your touch, and Fidesz will find a new rent-boy trolling round the fifth district to take your place on here, just mark my words….

      • Leto مؤدّب

        Is this the best you could answer? :D Try to reflect on my remark, postcommie idiot.

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