Scandalous scene at the National election Committee in Budapest | Zsolt Szigetváry / MTI

Governing party accused of blocking referendum

February 23, 2016

Opposition parties in Hungary have accused the governing force Fidesz of hiring thugs to prevent an opposition member of parliament from initiating a referendum on canceling a law that orders most supermarkets to be closed on Sundays.

Early Tuesday morning, opposition MP István Nyakó appeared at the National election Office to submit a referendum proposal on lifting the Sunday shopping ban passed into law by the governing Fidesz party and their small ally, the Christian Democrats and being in effect since March 15 last year.

As he tried to get a time stamp to submit his referendum question, he was reportedly pushed aside by some large-bodied men with shaved heads to make way for woman to submit her proposal aimed at maintaining the shopping ban.

Some of the men were later identified in social media as members of the security squad employed at Budapest football club Ferencváros whose president is a high-ranking official in the governing Fidesz party. (Ferencváros denied the accusations despite the fact that those in question had been photographed  wearing the vest of the club's security force.)

The woman submitting the referendum question has turned out to be the wife of the mayor of a village SW of Budapest. The mayor had earlier been a Fidesz candidate but at the last elections, he was elected against a Fidesz candidate.


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