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Socialists to propose election law amendment

The main governing Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) will submit a proposed amendment to the election law next week so that smaller parties would also be able to make it into Parliament after the general elections next spring, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány told a rally in Budapest on Sunday. Addressing a campaign-opening rally of the Socialists' youth arm, the prime minister said that any party which triumphs in at least three of the 176 individual constituencies should also get the parliamentary seats won on party lists, irrespective of its ability to take 5% of all votes cast on such lists. The amendment would effectively abolish the five percent threshold required for parties to enter Parliament.
"We need a Parliament with more MPs of more parties," Gyurcsány said. Recent polls suggest that the two smaller parties in Parliament - the junior governing coalition member SZDSZ and the smaller opposition MDF - would fall short on passing the 5% threshold. The amendment will require a two-thirds majority to pass.