Press release regarding the decision on the right to participate in national referenda25 October 2013
The Constitutional Court – in its decision – has declared that the order of the Curia which applies the prohibition of remuneration described in the Act on the procedure of the elections to remuneration of signature collectors violates the right to participate in national referenda. The Constitutional Court annulled the concerned order of the Curia and the related decision of the National Election Committee (NEC).
The party Lehet Más a Politika (LMP) submitted constitutional complaint against the order of the Curia and the decision of the National Election Committee (NEC). According to the decision of the NEC, the party LMP violated the prohibitions of the Act on the procedure of the elections when promised gifts to signature collectors during the “signature collecting marathon” campaign. The petitioner has been banned from further infringement as well. The Curia upheld the decision of the NEC in spite of the petitioner’s claim; therefore the petitioner turned to the Constitutional Court and requested the annulment of the mentioned decisions as the concerned prohibition of the Act on the procedure of the elections is too broad and its interpretation violates the right to participate in national referenda. The petitioner requested the annulment of the concerned decisions as well. After the submission of the petition the concerned regulation of the Act on the procedure of the elections was abolished.
The Constitutional Court has reviewed the conformity of the challenged judgement and its judicial interpretation with the Fundamental Law and has declared that the right to participate in national referenda – ensured in Section (7) Article XXIII of Fundamental Law – expands to the initiation, the support (including the signature itself and the collection of signatures) and obviously the participation in national referenda as a subjective right. The Constitutional Court has pointed out that the right to collect signatures has been restricted by the concerned interpretation of the Curia and of the NEC according to which the prohibition of the remuneration in case of signature collecting were interpreted so that the people, who receive remuneration from the organisation (party) that initiated the signature collecting, were excluded from the exercise of rights without any reason.