The civil group Momentum Movement said it submitted over a quarter million signatures to the Budapest election office to initiate a local referendum on Budapest’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic Summer Games. “Our message to Fidesz, Viktor Orbán and [Budapest Mayor] István Tarlós is that it was a grave error on their part not to have sought out the public’s opinion on Hungary’s bid to host the Olympics,” András Fekete-Győr, the movement’s leader, said in front of the election office. Momentum will now do so in their place, he said, announcing that the movement had collected a total of 266,151 signatures.
He called on Orbán and Tarlós not to tymie the referendum, arguing that doing so would be an act of cowardice on their part. Getting in the way of the referendum would also be a betrayal of those who support Hungary’s Olympic bid, he added. Earlier in the day, Tarlós said he would consider whether Budapest’s bid should be withdrawn if local residents supported a referendum on it. Tarlós blamed the opposition for earlier supporting the Olympic plans then “backing out” and called the opposition’s attitude “treachery”.