Hungarian government to hold referendum on EU migrant quotas
July 5, Budapest: Hungarian government says it will hold a government-initiated referendum on October 2 seeking political support to oppose any European Union efforts to resettle refugees among its member states.
The office of President Janos Ader said Tuesday that the question on the ballot will be: "Do you want the European Union to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary even without the consent of Parliament?"
Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who staunchly opposes immigration, said earlier that a "no" vote would be "in favor of Hungary's independence and rejecting the mandatory settlement plan."
Government officials welcomed Ader's decision, which came after legal challenges to the referendum had been exhausted.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a leading advocate of distributing refugees among EU countries, shrugged aside the referendum.
Markel in Berlin said that the Hungarian prime minister's opinion on refugees has already known, so she didn't expect from the referendum any change to the current situation.
While the far-right Jobbik party said it would ask supporters to vote against the EU quotas, left-wing opposition parties called for a boycott. Turnout of at least 50 percent is needed for the referendum to be valid.
An invalid referendum, even if a majority of those voting support the government's position, could at least dilute the government's expected claims of success.
The Oslo Times International News Network