"Hungary won’t introduce mandatory voter registration before the next general elections after the country’s Constitutional Court said proposed legislation to this effect was unconstitutional.
The proposed law–attached to the constitution as a set of temporary measures–has been heavily criticized by opposition lawmakers and human rights organizations, who said it was anti-democratic and favored the ruling Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban in parliamentary elections set for 2014. Critics have said that the law could deter people from registering to vote and lead to lower voter turnout.
In its ruling Friday, Hungary’s Constitutional Court said the legislation would 'unreasonably limit voting rights for Hungarians living in Hungary by requiring all voters to register.' Based on existing voter records, the state should ensure that citizens can exercise their voting rights without prior registration, the court said in a release on its website.
The decision comes days after the court said the Hungarian parliament had made a formal mistake in October when it attached voter registration to the constitution as part of a set of temporary measures while it was meant to be permanent.
The ruling Fidesz party could easily amend the constitution to have its way, but it’s not going to, a party leader said Friday following the court’s decision."