Photo: MTI

Election Committee fines Karacsony over HUF 500,000 for unreturned referendum slips

The National Election Committee (NVB) has fined Gergely Karacsony over 500,000 forints (EUR 1,320) for failing to return more than 600 signature slips in connection with a national referendum he initiated on two issues, NVB said on Wednesday.

Karacsony, who serves as the mayor of Budapest, submitted referendum initiatives regarding a planned Budapest campus of China’s Fudan University and jobless benefits last year.

As a private individual, Karacsony submitted the slips on January 21 this year, and NVB established on March 9 that both initiatives had garnered the required minimum of 200,000 valid signatures.

Under Hungarian law, an initiator of a national referendum must return all of the signature slips to the National Election Office (NVI). A fine of 800 forints is levied for each unreturned slip, the committee said in a statement, noting that its decision was passed unanimously.

Its decision can be appealed at the Kuria, Hungary’s supreme court, within the next five days.

NVB has seven members elected by parliament, while each of the nine parties with a parliamentary group can also delegate a representative to the body. So far, only delegates of the opposition DK, LMP, Parbeszed and Socialist parties were able to attend the session on Wednesday, the first held after the recent general election.

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