Fines imposed on NGOs for encouraging invalid vote on child protection referendum are final

April 14. 2022. – 09:51 AM

updated

Last Friday, several NGOs were fined (most of them to around 475 Euros) by the National Election Committee (NEC) for encouraging invalid voting at the Hungarian government’s so-called child protection referendum held on 3 April. Two organizations, Háttér Társaság and Amnesty International Hungary were ordered to pay a fine of 3 million forints (8000 Euros) – having been the main organizers of the campaign.

We have written about the background of this story in detail in a previous article.

According to the NEC, a total of sixteen organizations infringed the principle of good faith and proper administration of justice by encouraging the electorate to cast an invalid vote.

As the NECs decision was not final, one of the organizations, Háttér Társaság, submitted an appeal at the Curia.

The organisation argued that it is not at all contrary to the purpose of a referendum campaign to encourage the voter to cast an invalid vote – as submitting an invalid vote is lawful, and therefore the activity encouraging the voter to cast an invalid vote was not contrary to the purpose of the referendum campaign.

The Curia rejected this appeal without substantial examination on Wednesday.

They claim that although beyond the constitutional context, the appealing organisation did point out that the NEC committed a violation of the principle of good faith and proper administration of justice when stating that an infringement was committed, the petition did not contain any argumentation on the merits, and did not indicate the specific context based on which the NEC’s decision was unlawful.

The Curia’s decision is legally binding.

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