Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán wants to change the electoral law

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The proposed law would make it difficult for smaller parties to get on the national electoral list. At present, almost half of the seats in the Hungarian Parliament are allocated through this list.

As a step to weaken the opposition, the Hungarian government under Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is planning to change the electoral law. The proposal presented on Tuesday evening would make it difficult for smaller parties to join forces in the 2022 parliamentary election. Instead, the opposition would have to put up a candidate in half of all constituencies in order to be able to present a list at national level.

Currently, 93 of the 199 seats in the Hungarian parliament are awarded on the basis of national party lists, with the remaining seats being won in individual constituencies. The law, on the other hand, would stipulate that parties would have to stand for election in 50 instead of the previous 27 constituencies in order to get on the national electoral list.

Orbán’s government defended its initiative, arguing that the change would prevent the formation of small “bogus” parties that were only trying to get government grants. Meanwhile, a joint statement by the opposition parties said “amid the pandemic, the government should focus its efforts on the crisis and save lives, but instead is taking desperate measures”. Orbán fears “losing the 2022 elections while continuing to govern in an inhuman and hideous manner.”

Stricter definition of marriage provided

The move came amid a series of bills tabled late Tuesday. This also includes a draft constitutional amendment that would tighten the definition of marriage and effectively prohibit adoption by same-sex couples.

Hungary and Poland have been pilloried in the EU for violations of the rule of law for years. According to the so-called rule of law mechanism, which is to be linked to the new seven-year budget of the EU, it should in future be possible to reduce payments to member states in the event of violations of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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