Hungarian Civil Groups Launch Signature Drive On 4 Referendum Questions

  • 20 Jul 2015 9:00 AM
Hungarian Civil Groups Launch Signature Drive On 4 Referendum Questions
Civil groups officially launched their signature collection drive in connection with four approved referendum questions which would “dismantle the government”. The groups made their first call for 19 issues to be put to a referendum at anti-government demonstrations on March 15 this year.

The referendum calls included issues of anti-corruption, economic, educational and social goals, as well as calling for “genuine” asset declarations from politicians, the elimination of the state’s tobacco monopoly, opening up secret files on key state investments, and free motorways and bypasses.

The civil groups also support a separate referendum drive against retail closures on Sundays and another one calling for public and transparent public procurements. Two questions were immediately approved in March, these concern returning the mandatory schooling age to 18 from 16 and scrapping mandatory memberships for all entrepreneurs in the Chamber of Commerce.

Two further questions were approved later: one calling for free school meals for children in need and one for lawmakers who were past the retirement age not to receive pensions while they were working as MPs.

The organisers, among them lawyer Tamás Lattmann, who was behind the initiative for the 19 referendum questions, said they hoped two further questions now before the Kuria, the supreme court, would also be approved eventually.
These concern whether or not shops should be closed on Sundays and a call to force hospitals to shorten waiting times for treatments to under 6 months.

Another organiser Zoltán Vajda said the referendum initiative is supported by Együtt, the Hungarian Liberal Party, the Modern Hungary Movement and Dialogue for Hungary (PM).

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