Hungary’s Migration Aid, an NGO, which played a critical role in providing food, support and medical care to refugees in Budapest last year, issued the following English-language statement, after polls closed and it becomes increasingly clear that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s xenophobic anti-migrant referendum is invalid, falling well below the minimum 50% plus 1 participation threshold.
This evening at 19 o’clock another dark era of Hungarian history has come to an end. The government had spent billions (of HUF) to fund a campaign in order to fire up hatred in the country. A campaign that turned two groups of people short of the ability of self-defence into victims. Firstly, a number of roughly forty thousand fellow countrymen with Muslim religion living in peace and in symbiosis with the majority, and people who are seeking refuge in Europe escaping the chaos at Middle East.
From a legal view the atrocity campaign has ended in failure since more than half of those registered to vote did not fall for the tricks of the government’s campaign–including psychological tricks and overwhelming propaganda. The power elite that urged the referendum will surely struggle in the upcoming days to interpret the result of invalid voting as a success. We, however, have to look ahead and immediately start our work to repair the damage caused by the Hungarian government’s hatred-propaganda in our heart and head.
It was our deliberate decision not to take part in the debate going on in the past few months, as our main goal is helping people. However it has become obvious that we still have plenty to work to do, in explaining the nature and motive of migration and to initiate a social debate based on rational and realistic information on how this country can settle the humanitarian and security problems caused by migration.