Rule of Law: Constitutional Court Strikes Down Voter Registration

2013. január 10. 10:18

Ferenc Kumin
Ferenc Kumin's Blog

One of the most widely discussed topics of 2012 was the Government of Hungary’s new law requiring voters to register in order to exercise their right to vote, which according to Hungary’s Constitutional Court would be unconstitutional, so it won’t happen in the near future.

"Last week, a divided Court, represented by István Stumpf, returned a decision dismissing the law, saying that this voter registration would 'unreasonably limit voting rights for Hungarians living in Hungary by requiring all voters to register.'  Hungarian President János Áder early last month had referred the law to the Constitutional Court for preliminary legal review. The Court specifically objected to the requirement that voters should register no later than 15 days before polling day and thus struck down the relevant parts of the law.

Fidesz could still use the power of its supermajority to make amendments and push through a revised law. But as Antal Rogan, Fidesz parliamentary group leader said, 'power is not everything.' Instead the ruling parties will heed the findings of the Court. It 'would create an extended political debate, uncertainty and confusion for voters. So there will be no mandatory voter registration for the 2014 elections.' (...)

Also, note that the Court was divided. One of the dissenters disagreed with the final decision, arguing that setting a deadline for registration would not limit voting rights any more than setting a given day for the election would limit voting rights. Sometimes, reasonable people disagree.

More importantly, the rule of law, the system of checks and balances works in Hungary, despite what many have attempted to argue over the last two years. Writing in the prominent Hungarian weekly Heti Válasz, Bálint Ablonczy noted a comment made by Zsolt Molnár, a Socialist Party leader. The Court’s action and the subsequent decision by Fidesz not to pursue it further, said Molnár, was confirmation that 'the rule of law in Hungary still lives.'"

Az eredeti, teljes írást itt olvashatja el.
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