Mandatory tax audit referendum rejected by Elections Commission

April 12, 2017

The Fidesz-dominated National Elections Commission has dismissed an attempt by new center-right party Új Kezdet  (New Start) to hold a referendum which would force every mayor, MP, and member of the government (going back to 1987) – and their immediate relatives – to undergo audits by the tax authority, Magyar Nemzet reports.

A total of six referendum questions were submitted to the commission by private citizen Zsolt Fábián, all concerning the issue of mandatory audits.

Új Kezdet’s leader, Gödöllő mayor György Gémesi (pictured above), first announced on March 18 that his newly-formed party would push for a referendum on the issue.

“…[F]or once in this country, if we would like to work in the interest of the country with respect and honor, we must do this for a new start,” Gémesi said in March, adding that he and his fellow mayors would also be subject to such an audit, something they welcomed.

“The moral and ethical advancement of this country, the rebuilding of the economy, fixing the problems in healthcare, the problems in education and the issues affecting the youth, none of this can be addressed in a correct manner if we do not lay the proper foundations down,” Gémesi said. “This is the point of the new start. And we invite all Hungarian citizens, anyone who is happy to help, be that with signature gathering or spreading the news, to help with this.”

Gémesi was optimistic that one of his party’s referendum questions would make it through National Elections Commission, but none did.

András Patyi, chairman of the National Elections Commission and rector of the National University of Public Service, recommended the body dismiss the referendum questions claiming they were difficult to understand. Patyi also took issue with the fact that all six questions regarded the same issue, and he expressed disapproval of the tactic because it put the burden of deciding which one was legally acceptable on the National Elections Commission.

The commission also axed an unrelated referendum question regarding the Paks II nuclear expansion. According to the commission, the Paks question was dismissed because it concerned an international agreement. Opponents of the massive nuclear project have failed to get a single referendum on the Paks II project approved by the commission.

The commission’s decisions can be appealed to the Curia within 15 days.