National referendum and popular initiative
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National referendum and popular initiative. Direct and indirect democracy. Article 2 (2) of the Constitution „ In the Republic of Hungary supreme power is vested in the people, who exercise their sovereign rights directly and through elected representatives .” DECISION 2/1993. (I. 22.) AB

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National referendum and popular initiative

National referendum and popular initiative


Direct and indirect democracy

Direct and indirect democracy

Article 2 (2) of the Constitution

„In the Republic of Hungary supreme power is vested in the people, who exercise their sovereign rights directly and through elected representatives.”

DECISION 2/1993. (I. 22.) AB

„In the constitutional public order of the Republic of Hungary the prime form of the sovereign rights is the representation. National referendum can decide about the issue incumbent in the competence of Parliament only within the frames of the Constitution and the constitutionally issued acts


What can be the subject of referendum

What can be the subject of referendum?

Article 28/B. (1) of the Constitution

„The subject of national referenda (…) may fall under the jurisdiction of the Parliament.”

DECISION 53/2001. (XI. 29.) AB

the legislatorial competence of the Parliament guaranteed in the Constitution is complete and open in the direction of the Government and the Members of the Government


What can t be the subject of referendum

What can’t be the subject of referendum?

Act III of 1998

on National Referendum and Popular Initiative Article 13 (1)

The concrete question to be put to the referendum shall be composed in a way which shall facilitate the unambiguous answer of every citizen.


What can t be the subject of referendum1

What can’t be the subject of referendum?

DECISION 52/2001. (XI. 29.) AB

  • The question have to be unambiguous and have to bear an interpretation in one way only

  • May not be held on two, closely not connected subquestions

  • On the basis of the result the Parliament can decide, what kind of legislatorial obligation it burdens


What can t be the subject of referendum2

What can’t be the subject of referendum?

Article 28/C. (5) of the Constitution

National referendum may not be held on the following subjects: a) on the state budget, national taxes and duties, customs tariffs, and on the central conditions for local taxes, DECISION 51/2001. (XI. 29.) AB


What can t be the subject of referendum3

What can’t be the subject of referendum?

Constitution Article 28/C. (5)

„National referendum may not be held on the following subjects: b) obligations set forth in valid international treaties and on the contents of laws prescribing such obligations,”DECISION 58/2004. (XII. 14.) AB

The Constitution establishes plebiscitary prohibition on the international treaties already ratified,promulgated and valid.


What can t be the subject of referendum4

What can’t be the subject of referendum?

Constitution Article 28/C. (5)

„National referendum may not be held on the following subjects: c) the provisions of the Constitution on national referenda and popular initiatives,”

DECISION 25/1999. (VII. 7.) AB

There is no referendum initiated by the citizens in the matter about the amendment of the Constitution.


What can t be the subject of referendum5

What can’t be the subject of referendum?

Constitution Article 28/C. (5)

„d) personnel and restructuring (reorganization, termination) matters falling under Parliamentary jurisdiction,

e) dissolution of the Parliament,

f) the Government's program,

g) declaration of a state of war, a state of emergency or a state of national crisis,

h) use of the Armed Forces abroad or within the country,

i) dissolution of the representative body of local governments,

j) amnesty.”


The types of the referendum

The types of the referendum

Article 28/C. (1) of the Constitution

„A national referendum may be held for reaching a decision or for the expression of an opinion. Carrying out a national referendum may be mandatory or may be the result of the consideration of a matter.”

Article 26. (6) of the Constitution

Confirmative: „The President of the Republic shall ratify the law subject to national referendum if such law is confirmed by the national referendum.”


The types of the referendum1

The types of the referendum

Act III of 1998

on National Referendum and Popular Initiative Article 8. (3)

The mandatory referendum may be only matter-deciding

At the facultative referendum the Parliament decides about the binding force

The confirmative referendum is matter-deciding.


The initiative of the referendum

The initiative of the referendum

Article 28/C. (2) and (4) of the Constitution

„A national referendum shall be held if so initiated by at least 200,000 voting citizens.”

„Based on its consideration, the Parliament may order a national referendum upon the initiative by the President of the Republic, the Government, by one-third of Members of the Parliament or by 100,000 voting citizens.”


The relation of the initiatives

The relation of the initiatives

DECISION 52/1997. X. 19.) AB

The rule of priority

The referendum initiated by the citizens has priority over the others

This priority is valid from the beginning of the procedure


The relation of the initiatives1

The relation of the initiatives

  • The question have to be forwareded to the National Electoral Board for authentication - from this moment the priority of valid

  • Until the procedure ends, referendum can’t be initiated in an identical matter

  • The constitutional complaint against the authenticating decision of the National Electoral Board may be handed in to the Constitutional Court

  • As well as, against the decision of the Parliament, if the referendum is mandatory against the rejection, too


If the initiative successful

If the initiative successful

The Parliament orders the referendum

The President of the Republic sets the date of the referendum


The result of the referendum

The result of the referendum

Article 28/C. (6) of the Constitution

„A national ratification referendum shall be considered successful if more than half of the votes of the citizens voting, but at least more than one-quarter of all eligible voters have given the same answer in the referendum.”

No threshold of validity


What can be the subject of the popular initiative

What can be the subject of the popular initiative?

Article 28/D. of the Constitution

The matter incumbent in the competence of Parliament


Who can initiate the popular initiative

Who can initiate the popular initiative?

Article 28/D. of the Constitution

At least 50,000 voting citizens


What is the consequence of a successful popular initiative

What is the consequence of a successful popular initiative?

Article 28/D. of the Constitution

„Forcing the Parliament to place a subject under its jurisdiction on the agenda”


National referendum and popular initiative

Thank you for your attention!


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