Hun­gary’s ref­er­en­dum on EU’s mi­grant quo­tas in­valid

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

The Hun­gar­ian Na­tional Elec­tion Of­fice of­fi­cially de­clared Hun­gary’s mi­grant quota ref­er­en­dum in­valid, as the num­ber of valid votes cast did not reach the 50% -plus-one thresh­old.

NVI chief Ilona Pálffy said af­ter 99% of the votes had been counted that the num­ber of valid votes was 3.34 mil­lion. The ref­er­en­dum would have re­quired just over 4.1 mil­lion valid votes for it to have been de­clared valid.

How­ever, 220,000 voted in­validly and only 3.3 mil­lion voted “no” and 55,000 voted “yes” across the coun­try. 98,33 % of the valid votes were “no”, while 1,67% said “yes”.

In the ref­er­en­dum vot­ers were asked: “Do you want to al­low the Euro­pean Union to man­date the re­set­tle­ment of non-Hun­gar­ian cit­i­zens to Hun­gary with­out the ap­proval of the Na­tional As­sem­bly?”

De­spite the turnout was be­low the 50%-plus-one vote re­quired for the vote to be valid, Hun­gar­ian Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Or­bán in­sisted that an over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of Hun­gar­i­ans re­jected Euro­pean Union’s bind­ing mi­grant quo­tas in Sun­day’s ref­er­en­dum, there­fore he would sub­mit a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment pro­posal to par­lia­ment with a view to ce­ment­ing “the will of the peo­ple in the con­sti­tu­tion”.

The EU pro­poses al­low­ing mi­grants in and dis­tribut­ing them among mem­ber states, Or­bán said, stress­ing that in the ref­er­en­dum Hun­gar­i­ans had made clear that only they can de­cide with whom they live.

“Brus­sels or Budapest. That was the ques­tion. And we de­cided that the right to de­cide lies solely with Budapest,” he said, adding that Sun­day’s pop­u­lar vote was the first im­por­tant step of a “long jour­ney” ahead. Hun­gary would have to fight many tough bat­tles along the way, he added.

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