MINELRES: Hungary: Act on elections of minority self-governments submitted to the Constitutional Court

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Jun 27 09:47:01 2005

Original sender: Judit Solymosi <solymosij@mail.datanet.hu>



21 June 2005

The President of the Republic of Hungary Mr Ferenc Madl has sent today
the Act on the elections of minority self-government representatives to
the Constitutional Court and asked for their opinion.

Municipal governments and local (settlement level) minority
self-governments created for the enforcement of national and ethnic
minority rights are parallel structures in the Hungarian legal system.
The Act forwarded for opining makes it possible, among others, that a
member of the minority self-government who has obtained the highest
number of votes becomes also the member of the elected municipal
government. In this way, minority voters would have two opportunities to
send representatives to the municipal government: they can do so, on the
one hand, at the local municipal elections, and, on the other hand,
their vote cast at the local minority elections could also lead to a
mandate for a municipal government representative.

According to the President of the Republic, this regulation is raising
concerns from two points of view. On the one hand, representatives who
have not been elected by the whole electorate - and who thus do not have
the necessary democratic legitimacy - would also obtain a mandate.
According to the President, this would violate the principle of the
people's sovereignty. Beside this argument, the head of the state
formulated some concerns from the point of view of the principle of the
equality of votes. People belonging to national and ethnic minorities
would have more votes at municipal elections than people who do not
belong to minorities.

The motion of the President of the Republic draws attention to the fact
that the existing legal provisions on minority candidates also specify a
preferential way for obtaining a mandate at the local municipal
elections. However, the regulations in force meet the requirements of
the Constitution as they do not provide a multiple right of vote to
people belonging to minorities.

The full text of the President's motion can be read on the website of
the Office of the President of the Republic:

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