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GULYÁS: ELECTION LAW AMENDMENT ‘JUSTIFIED, NECESSARY’

 

Addressing the topic of Hungary’s recent amendment to the election law, Gergely Gulyás, the PM’s chief of staff, said the move was “justified and necessary”, insisting that the changes would not have an impact on the opposition’s ability to cooperate. The changes, he said, were aimed at ensuring that only those parties that can field at least fifty individual candidates would receive central financing. “This has nothing to do with the ability of opposition parties to field candidates…” he said, adding that all parties agreed that election and campaign financing rules had been open to abuse. Under the amended law, political parties will need 25,000 signatures to set up a national list and receive central subsidies, Gulyás said. Also, the new rules, he said, were passed as a matter of urgency so they could come into effect before the 2022 elections. Addressing the issue of fake political parties, he noted that some public prosecutions were still ongoing related to the 2018 general election, adding that similar abuses would no longer be feasible in the 2022 ballot now that the government has introduced tougher requirements for anyone applying to receive central campaign funding.
Answering a question concerning homeless services, Gulyás said: “Nobody should sleep on the street in the second half of November, irrespective of the epidemic”. He noted that municipalities are obliged to run homeless shelters, adding that rooms should be made available for homeless people who have not yet been tested for coronavirus. The government, he said, was ready to help with legal changes if necessary.