Curia green-lights referendum on statute of limitations for corruption crimes

September 7, 2017

The Curia, Hungary’s highest court, has upheld the verification by the National Election Commission (NVB) of Gábor Vágó’s referendum question on expanding the statute of limitations for corruption crimes.

Vágó, a former Politics Can Be Different (LMP) MP, submitted the following question as a private person:

“Do you agree that crimes of corruption should be punishable at least 12 years after they are committed?”

The question was verified by the NVB in May. However, employee of the government-tied think-tank Center for Fundamental Rights Marcell Melles appealed to the Curia, arguing that Vágó’s question was unclear in its wording.

The Curia’s rejection of that appeal now gives a green light to Vágó’s referendum initiation. In order to hold a national referendum on the question, Vágó will have to collect at least 200,000 valid signatures within 120 days. However, even if Vágó succeeds, the referendum can only be held after the parliamentary election next spring due to a restriction stipulated by the referendum law.