The National Election Office (NVI) on Wednesday said it has handed over the signature collection sheets to Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony for the planned referendums on the Hungarian campus of China’s Fudan University and on extending the eligibility period for jobless benefits.
The Kúria, Hungary’s supreme court, last week granted its approval to referendum questions aimed at preventing property from being transferred to Fudan University and at extending the job seekers’ benefit to a maximum 270 days. Karácsony, the petitioner, requested 26,677 signature collection sheets for each question. One sheet has room for a maximum of 15 signatures, the NVI’s press department said. The petitioner now has 120 days to gather 200,000 supporting signatures, which the NVI will then have 60 days to review.
Karácsony told a press conference in front of the election office that “after the success that was the [opposition] primary”, it was time for the opposition to “get back among the people, back on the streets and to go back to discussing the most pressing issues in Hungary for bringing about change”.
“Primary, referendum, and a change of government: that’s the agenda we’re offering to those who want change and to everyone else in Hungary,” the mayor said. The opposition, he added, aimed to gather the required 200,000 signatures as quickly as possible so that the eligibility period for the jobless benefit could be raised to nine months from three and a vote could be held on repealing “the Fudan law”.