Orban Referendum Targeting LGBTQ Rights Fails to Become Binding
Written by James Rendell on April 4, 2022
Shared By Peter Boykin – American Political Commentator / Citizen Journalist
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s national referendum targeting LGBTQ rights that he has cast as crucial to his fight over the issue with the European Union failed to muster enough votes to be valid.
The government initiated a referendum, which coincided with parliamentary elections where Orban clinched a fourth consecutive term, asked Hungarians to vote “No” on four questions, including whether they agreed to the “Marketing of gender change procedure to minors.” Less than half of eligible voters cast valid ballots, rendering the vote non-binding, though more than 90% voted in line with the government’s campaign.
About 1.6 million votes, or almost a third of the ballots cast, were invalid after the opposition’s appeal to file protest votes.
Orban has previously portrayed non-binding referendum outcomes as victories, and his officials said it would be no different this time.
Orban’s crackdown on LGBTQ rights just before Hungary’s election was widely seen as a way to boost voter turnout for the general election.
It also intensified a battle with the EU over the rule of law in Hungary, with the government alleging it prompted the EU to delay billions of euros in pandemic recovery aid.
The EU had cited concerns over suspected graft as the reason.
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