Democratic Coalition starts campaign to strip dual-citizens of their right to vote

October 31, 2017

Democratic Coalition starts campaign to strip dual-citizens' of their right to vote
DK chairman Ferenc Gyurcsány at DK’s 6th birthday party on October 23, 2017 | Photo: Facebook/Demokratikus Koalíció

Opposition party Democratic Coalition (DK) will start a signature collection campaign to deprive Hungarian dual-citizens abroad of their voting rights, reports

“Do you agree that those who have never lived in Hungary and do not bear the consequences of their vote should not be able to vote [in Hungarian elections]?” reads the question on the petition. 

DK hopes to collect the signatures of those who would answer ‘yes’ to the question. Former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s party stated that the campaign does not aim to collect signatures in order to initiate a possible national referendum, suggesting its real purpose is to build a voter database for DK.

In an interview on ATV’s Start program, DK MEP and spokesman Csaba Molnár said it is “unfair and immoral” that people who have never lived in Hungary can vote in Hungarian elections.

Although Molnár cited the example of South-African and Australian citizens who had been granted Hungarian citizenship without ever having visited Hungary or paying any Hungarian taxes, should the National Assembly strip dual-citizens residing abroad of their right to vote in Hungarian elections, the most affected group would be ethnic Hungarians living in the “near abroad”, that is, Romania, Serbia, Austria, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Molnár argued that in the 2014 elections Fidesz could only gain a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly with the votes of Hungarians living in the near abroad, the vast majority of whom voted for Fidesz.

When the reporter asked Molnár whether it would be a better alternative to try to win the sympathy of such Hungarians, Molnár insisted that DK’s objection stems not from the fact that these voters prefer Fidesz over opposition parties but that it is unjust they can vote in Hungarian elections at all.

Molnár added that according to recent polls, in addition to the vast majority of left-wing voters, even the majority of Fidesz voters oppose granting the right to vote to those who do not bear the consequences.