Election Committee accepts one referendum question, rejects another

Issues

Hungary's National Election Committee (OVB) on Monday approved a question on hospital privatization proposed for a national referendum by parliamentary opposition parties Fidesz and KDNP. The OVB rejected, however, a proposed question on tuition fees for college and university students.

The commission approved a question that read "Do you agree that health care institutions and hospitals should remain under state or municipal ownership?" but rejected the other, which read "Do you agree that students in the state-subsidized higher education system should not have to pay tuition fees?"
The commission noted that the hospital question was almost identical to an earlier referendum question approved by the Constitutional Court in 2005. It said it would not accept the question on tuition fees because the introduction of the fees is a major element of the government program. Under Hungary's constitution, the issue therefore cannot be put to voters in a referendum.
The commission will continue ruling on the other questions submitted by Fidesz and KDNP on Tuesday.

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