Referendums against Olympics and Liget project challenged

Parliament

An unnamed person has appealed to block two referendums, one to halt Budapest’s 2024 Olympics bid and the other to put a stop to the Liget Budapest Project, news portal index.hu reported this morning.

Both referendums had received initial approval from Budapest’s voting committee, but they can be challenged in court. The court needs to make a decision in a matter of weeks, according to reports.

The two initiatives, now collectively referred to as “Hajrá Budapest!” (Letʼs Go Budapest!) were approved by Budapest’s voting committee on December 15, after which there was 15 days to appeal the decision. Barring this, the initiatives would be legally entitled to proceed, first with the collection of signatures, followed by a referendum that could take place as early as spring, according to reports.

Since launching their campaigns, District XIV mayor Gergely Karácsony, who heads the initiative against the Liget Project, and atlatszo.hu journalist Katalin Erdélyi, who submitted the proposal to the committee to prevent Budapest from bidding for the 2024 Olympic Games, have joined forces, to garner the support, not only of civilians but also opposition parties, index.hu reported.

The controversial Liget Budapest Project comprises a HUF 200 billion investment to build a new museum quarter in the capitalʼs City Park (Városliget) while the 2024 Olympic Games are expected to cost the city approximately HUF 800 billion.

If the campaigns make it past the appeal and the campaigners succeed in collecting 140,000 signatures, two separate referendums will be carried out. In the case of the Liget Project the key question to be answered is: “Do you agree that City Park building codes could prevent the construction of new museum buildings in City Park?” With regard to the Olympics bid, the campaign leader will put forward the question: “Do you agree that the municipality of Budapest should not apply for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in Budapest next summer?”

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