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Election committee rejects LMP’s referendum bid on requiring local consent for building battery plants

The National Election Committee (NVB) on Tuesday rejected a referendum initiative by opposition LMP on requiring the consent of local communities before building battery plants.

The green party had intended to ask citizens whether public consent in a local referendum should be required for the construction of a battery plant in a given locality.

The NVB rejected the question on the ground that it did not meet the constitutional stipulation that the circumstances for ordering a local referendum on the basis of subject matter could only be regulated in exceptional cases.

It said the rules of procedure provided by the laws currently in effect were suitable for meeting LMP’s goal of requiring the consent of local communities for the construction of battery plants.

The NVB said that if the regulation proposed by LMP were to enter into force, an invalid local referendum would prevent the construction of a battery plant even if a majority of those who voted were in favour of the project.

Because of this, the initiative is out of line with the constitution, which therefore means it is “aimed at an implicit amendment to the constitution”, which cannot be subject to a referendum.

The NVB’s decisions are not legally binding and can be appealed at the Kuria, Hungary’s supreme court, within 15 days.

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