Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced after his anti-migrant referendum was declared invalid by the National Election Office that he intends to disregard the result and will bring forward a proposal to amend Hungary’s constitution. Mr. Orbán’s proposed constitutional amendment is “borrowed” directly and explicitly from Jobbik’s platform. The far-right party and its leader spent the entire referendum campaign criticising Fidesz for going ahead with a costly referendum, where the end result was far from guaranteed, and when it could have simply amended the constitution to declare all EU-sanctioned mandatory “settlements” of refugees or migrants in Hungary as unconstitutional. After the Sunday evening referendum defeat–where 60% of Hungarians either boycotted the vote, stayed home or spoiled their ballot–Mr. Orbán declared that he will implement Jobbik’s proposal.
“Our weapon will be powerful, even in Brussels,” announced Mr. Orbán, after he declared that the invalid anti-migrant referendum was “an overwhelming victory.”
“The question before us was: Brussels or Budapest?”–said Mr. Orbán during his referendum night speech, and he believes that Hungarians voted for Budapest instead of Brussels. “It will be a long road, with many difficult battles,” he added. It is very telling that all journalists were banned from being present for Mr. Orbán’s speech. Only a few cameramen and technicians, as well as party functionaries were allowed in. All journalists were forced to watch the speech from a screen, in a separate room.
If Mr. Orbán accepts verbatim Jobbik’s proposal, the constitutional amendment will sound like this:
“Only Parliament can decide on the short-term or long-term settlement of citizens of third countries in Hungary.”
This is the proposal initially put forward by Jobbik politicians.
As the 444.hu website notes, this is not the first time that Fidesz “borrows” ideas directly from Jobbik’s platform. In the past, Fidesz declared the anniversary of the Treaty of Trianon–when Hungary lost two thirds of its land to successor states after World War II–as a day of national remembrance. The ruling party also removed a statue to former Prime Minister of Hungary Mihály Károlyi, who led a short-lived socialdemocratic government in 1918/19, next to Parliament–an idea first floated by Jobbik.
Meanwhile Gábor Vona, President of Jobbik, has demanded that Mr. Orbán resign as prime minister.
“The prime minister can say what he wants, but the EU will emphasise only one thing, namely that the Hungarian referendum is invalid. This is a massive defeat…They should not try to explain away this result. They should not try to point the finger at others. They should not deflect responsibility. They must admit that the unsuccessful referendum is their defeat. In this situation, the prime minister can do nothing else, but he must resign, as the prime minister responsible for initiating this referendum in the first place. This invalid referendum is not a message to Brussels, but rather to Viktor Orbán”–declared Mr. Vona, in his election night speech.
If the European Union needs anymore evidence that Hungary is not a democracy, then here is one more example of how little the democratic will of the people is actually worth–when it goes against the regime.