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Fidesz may cut number of lawmakers and introduce single-round elections

Hungary’s governing party plans to cut the number of lawmakers from 386 to 200, abolish the second round of voting and end the system of compensating for votes cast for runner-up candidates.

Fidesz proposes introducing a single-round election system featuring both individual candidates and party lists, MEP János Áder said on Saturday. Áder, whom Fidesz asked to coordinate the drafting of the new election law to be approved this year, told reporters about plans to field half the number of lawmakers from individual constituencies and the other half from national party lists.

The national compensation party list, a part of the current election system, would become a thing of the past under the plan. Áder insisted that upon granting Hungarian citizens living abroad, including dual citizens, voting rights, Hungary would follow the practices of the overwhelming majority of EU member states. Parliament will be downsized from 386 to about 200, Áder said, adding that the final figure would depend on the model adopted. But there would be definitely fewer than 210, he added.

The election in a single round adopts the first-past-the-post system: if over half of eligible voters turn up for the elections, the candidate who scores the most votes will win the mandate. He said the threshold for a party to send deputies to Parliament would remain unchanged: 5% of votes cast on a national party list.

Fidesz would have won as many as three-quarters of seats if the system of compensating parties for votes cast for runners-up was abolished, Nepszabadsag said.

The Fidesz party also plans to allow Hungarian citizens living outside the country to vote, the Nepszabadsag said, citing Janos Ader, a European lawmaker from Fidesz, who has been asked by Prime Minister Viktor Orban to prepare an overhaul of the electoral system.

According to the draft plan, ethnic minorities without an elected lawmaker would be guaranteed a representative who could participate in debates without voting, the newspaper reported.

The election bill will be submitted to Parliament in mid-October and approved before the end of this year.

Fidesz proposes introducing a single-round election system featuring both individual candidates and party lists, MEP János Áder said on Saturday. Áder, whom Fidesz asked to coordinate the drafting of the new election law to be approved this year, told reporters about plans to field half the number of lawmakers from individual constituencies and the other half from national party lists. The national compensation party list, a part of the current election system, would become a thing of the past under the plan. Áder insisted that upon granting Hungarian citizens living abroad, including dual citizens, voting rights, Hungary would follow the practices of the overwhelming majority of EU member states. Parliament will be downsized from 386 to about 200, Áder said, adding that the final figure would depend on the model adopted. But there would be definitely fewer than 210, he added. The election in a single round adopts the first-past-the-post system: if over half of eligible voters turn up for the elections, the candidate who scores the most votes will win the mandate. He said the threshold for a party to send deputies to Parliament would remain unchanged: 5% of votes cast on a national party list. The Fidesz presidency proposes that Hungary's ethnic minorities be represented in the next Parliament. The election bill will be submitted to Parliament in mid-October and approved before the end of this year.