Independent MP Zoltán Kész has submitted 190,000 signatures in support of holding a referendum to cap the salaries of state employees, reports Hungarian news site 444.hu.
The government itself had earlier lauded the monthly salary cap of HUF 2 million as one of its goals, only to completely abandon the idea by 2016. Kész has been working with the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) to collect the needed signatures.
Had Kész submitted 200,000 valid signatures, parliament would have been required to order a referendum on the subject.
While Kész came up 10,000 signatures short of requiring the parliament to order a referendum, Hungarian law does allow for parliament to do so if a given subject receives at least 100,000 signatures. That said, it is highly unlikely that the Fidesz-dominated parliament will order a referendum.
According to Kész, he gathered the most signatures in Budapest’s 13th district and his home district in Veszprém.
The only other referendum scheduled for this year is the government’s controversial question on the EU refugee quota. Many critics believe the referendum to be illegal because the decision does not fall within the purview of the Hungarian parliament. The government is spending billions of forints in an effort to persuade Hungarians to vote “no”.