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President sets date of 2022 general election, referendum on child protection law for April 3

President Janos Ader has set April 3 as the date of Hungary's 2022 general election and the referendum on child protection law.

In a statement released by the Office of the President of the Republic, Ader said (the statement in full):

“Thirty-two years ago, as a result of the first free elections, Hungary became an independent, democratic country. I express my thanks to all who played a role in rebuilding the nation.

“This year, for the ninth time, Hungarian citizens with voting rights will be free to decide whom they will entrust with the management of our common affairs.

“Hungary’s Fundamental Law and the Electoral Procedure Act contain clear provisions on the date by which the President of the Republic may set a general election of the members of parliament.

“Based on this statutory mandate, I have set the date of the general election of members of parliament for April 3, 2022, the earliest possible date.”

The election campaign officially starts 50 days before the date of the ballot — on February 12 this time round.

Hungary’s 7.8 million voters will have the opportunity to cast two ballots in the single-round election deciding 199 seats.

One ballot directly elects lawmakers in 106 individual constituencies. A formula is used to allocate the remaining seats based on votes cast for a party list.

Prospective candidates must secure 500 signatures by February 25 to run in an individual constituency.

A party may draw up a national list if they have at least an individual candidate in 71 constituencies in at least fourteen counties and Budapest. Parties must submit their national lists to the National Election Committee (NVB) by February 26.

Hungarian voters with an address in Hungary who reside abroad must go to an embassy or consulate to cast their ballots on the day of the election. Beforehand they must register with a local notary by March 25.

Those 420,000 Hungarians who do not have an address in Hungary but registered to vote by mail prior to or after the previous, 2018 ballot will not be required to register again.

Non-Hungarian residents who have Hungarian citizenship will also have the right to vote. They must register with the National Election Office (NVI) by March 9.

Voters who register themselves as a member of a national minority will cast their ballot for the list of the respective minority rather than for national parties. A national minority may field candidates on a list with the recommendation of at least one percent of their national minority voters.

Under the law, Hungary’s new parliament must be formed by May 3 at the latest.

In a separate statement the President said that “Hungary’s National Assembly voted unanimously on November 9, 2021 to allow holding a referendum on the day of the general election.

“The legal conditions for holding a referendum are in place for four questions on which referendums have been initiated.

“Taking into consideration the deadlines set by the laws on electoral and referendum procedures, a referendum on the four issues in question and the general election can only be held simultaneously on April 3 or April 10.

“In view of this, I have set the referendum on the four issues specified in Parliamentary Resolution 32/2021 of November 30 for April 3, 2022.”

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