Budapest: With 98.56 per cent of the ballots counted, 98.28 per cent of the Hungarian voters chose the “no” option on Sunday in a government-sponsored referendum on whether to accept the European Union (EU)’s scheme for migrant quotas, the National Elections Bureau reported, leading the government to claim victory.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that the important part of the vote was to learn the opinions of people and the huge portion of voters choosing the “no” option clearly demonstrated the will of the people, Xinhua reported.
Gergely Gulyas, deputy chief of the ruling party Fidesz, said he believed Orban had received a clear mandate.
However, since ballot validity would have required 50 per cent of eligible voters and in Sunday’s referendum only 39.8 per cent cast valid ballots, the left-wing opposition, which called for a boycott, has also claimed the win.
Ferenc Gyurcsany, chair of the DK party called on Orban to resign, while Gyula Molnar, chair of the MSZP party said that the invalid vote was merely an expensive public opinion poll.
He called the referendum illegitimate and demanded that parliament investigate the huge amount of money that went into the advertising campaign.