Hungary’s top court voids election law in blow to PM
21:55 – 04.01.13
Hungary’s constitutional court has struck down a controversial
electoral law that critics said would have favoured the ruling party,
Fidesz, BBC News reported.
The court objected to a requirement that voters register no later than
15 days before polling day.
Some other provisions were also deemed to be unconstitutional.
The conservative party of PM Viktor Orban dominates parliament. Last
year Fidesz changed some other laws amid EU pressure over democratic
After Friday’s court ruling the head of the party’s parliamentary
group, Antal Rogan, said the new voter registration system would not
be introduced for the 2014 general election.
The new electoral law was adopted by parliament last November, but
then President Janos Ader referred it to the constitutional court.
He also highlighted public concern about the law’s provisions on
election campaigning and advertising.
The court ruled that the law restricted voter rights to an
unjustifiable degree, the Politics.hu news website reports.
The court objected to a proposal that political ads be restricted to
the publicly run media, calling it a grave violation of freedom of
The court also opposed proposed bans on cinemas screening political
ads during the campaign and on the publication of any election-related
opinion polls in the six days prior to election day.
Last year the European Commission – the EU’s executive arm – took
legal action against Orban’s government over reforms to Hungary’s
central bank, data protection and the judiciary.
There have been many protests in Hungary against Fidesz’s laws which,
in the eyes of critics, infringe on civil liberties.
Orban has accused the EU of interfering in Hungary’s domestic affairs.
He has argued that major reforms are necessary to “renew”
Hungary’s institutions, saying the legacy of communism has not yet