Voting in Hungary has seen record low figures yesterday (May 25) on European Parliamentary elections. Low participation at the ballot boxes has been echoed in the region and all around Europe.
Apparently, Hungarian citizens took the European Parliamentary elections just as seriously as the candidates did. Fidesz and MSzP had not presented an electoral program, at all, when running for the EP elections. Both former prime ministers of Hungary Ferenc Gyurcsány of Democratic Coalition (DK) and Gordon Bajnai of Együtt-PM had run as figureheads of their lists respectively, with no intention of occupying seats in the European parliament. Altogether approximately 29% of Hungarians decided to plan their European future by voting.
Apathy towards EP elections was mirrored in the neighboring countries too. Slovakia has seen an all-time low participation of 13%. Slovakia's EU commissioner Maros Sefcovic emphasized politicians need to seriously think over the participation rate as once EU supporting Slovakians seem to lose interest.
The turnout in the Czech Republic reached 18.2% which has been, likely to the apparent trend, the lowest in its history. Czech press blames the politicians for the interest and urges them to “change their way of perceiving the European agenda and presenting it to voters”, as Martin Zverina writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.
The highest voter turnout was seen in Malta around the EU. Though participation has fallen by 4% as compared to 2009 EP elections reaching the lowest figures in Malta’s history ever, it still reached 71.84% the highest in the European Union.