Wednesday, 11.04.18 - CEU

Hungary after the election - Questions and answers to the electoral system

At the Hungarian parliamentary election on 8 April 2018 , the governing parties unexpectedly secured a third consecutive parliamentary two-thirds majority allowing them to change the constitution on their own. The expectations of the opposition parties, however, were not met and resulted in a series of resignations. What role did the electoral system play and what developments can be expected in the coming legislative period? To discuss these questions, Political Capital and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation invited leading politicians and experts to an event on April 11.

In his introductory remarks László Róbert (Political Capital) presented a indepth analysis about voter’s knowledge and awareness of their national electoral system. Survey results indicate that Hungarian electors are not adequately familiar with their national election procedure and make  demands on the electoral system that cannot be always met .

Experts subsequently discussed the disproportionality of the Hungarian majority election system  that profoundly influenced the results of the parlamentary elections. Furthermore, the experts highlighted the problems at the  National Election Office, as well as the election campaign financing criticized by OSCE election observers and the high number of fake parties. However, the experts agreed that the third consecutive two-thirds majority could have been prevented if the quarrelling opposition parties adapted their strategy to the electoral system more effectively.

In the second panel discussion, Gergely Gulyás (vice president of FIDESZ) and Gyula Molnár (chairman of  MSZP who resigned during the election night) discussed the elections and its circumstances. While Gulyás attributed his party's landslide election victory to its clear stance on migration policy and the  country’s stable economic situation, his counterpart claimed that the governing parties led a "brutal election campaign". Gyula Molnár voiced his concerns that the dismantling of parlamentarism in Hungary will continue in the coming  years , and blamed  the lack of cooperation from the  Hungarian Left  for the dangerous omnipotence oft he government.


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