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Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán (on the left) told IOC President Thomas Bach last August that Budapest was the best candidate for the 2024 Summer Games | Tibor Illyés / olimpia.hu

Hungary withdraws Budapest 2024 Olympic bid

D&T
February 22, 2017

The Hungarian government has made a decision to suggest to the Budapest City Council and the Hungarian Olympic Committee to withdraw from the bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The move comes after over quarter of a million signatures were collected to force a referendum on the issue.

Folowing the handover of 266,151 signatures (from Budapest residents) by the Group 'Momentum' to the Election Committee last Friday, Budapest Mayor István Tarlós suggested he would not make the decision without the Hungarian government to call for the City Council to quit the bid.

It was this Wednesday evening that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (a major advocate for bidding for the Games), Mayor Tarlós and the Hungarian Olympic Committee President Zsolt Borkai had a meeting at which they decided about the withdrawal. They have blamed the opposition for breaking what they termed as 'national unity' for the Olympic bid.

However, opposition parties say the decision to withdraw without even waiting for the Election Committee to validate enough signatures shows that the Hungarian government is afraid the outcome of a possible referendum and decided to cancel the subject before it would be put to vote as it happened last year when the Hungarian Socialist Party collected enough signatures to force a referendum on the government ban on Sunday shopping.

D&T

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