III. The verification of the question
The prior formal and content examination of the initiative submitted for verification is done by the National Election Office.
Unless the initiative does not comply with the legal requirements related to the submission and the formalities, or if the content of the question is obviously the contrary of the constitutional aim of the referendum (e.g. pornographic or by other means contains shocking expressions) the National Election Office rejects the initiation in a regulation and no appeal shall lie against the decision.
However the legislation creates the opportunity for the initiator to submit the corrected initiation again within 15 days after the notification of a negative decision by the President of the National Election Office. During that time other initiators are not allowed to initiate a national referendum about the question with the same content.
In case of a repeated submission the National Election Commission has to place the initiation on its agenda. The President of the National Election Office is allowed to refuse the initiation again only, if there are less than at least 20 supporting statements.
The judgement of the initiative
The National Election Commission decides on the verification of the question or on its rejection within 30 days after it has been submitted.
The initiation that is incompatible with the role of the legal institutions of the referendum in the system of the democratic exercise of power, because it is pornographic or by other means contains shocking expressions, is rejected without examination by the National Election Commission. The National Election Commission’s decision on the verification or rejection of the question shall be published on the official website of the elections www.valasztas.hu and in the Hungarian Gazette (Magyar Közlöny).
Terms regarding the content – Formulating the question
The most important requirement of the proposed question is that its subject could only be falling under the task and competence of the National Assembly. Namely, only those questions can be decided by voters within the framework of a referendum that in fact ought to be decided upon by the National Assembly.
Article 8(3) of the Fundamental Law recites those so called prohibited subjects that cannot be the subject of the referendum despite falling within the task and competence of the Parliament. Therefore according to the Fundamental Law, a national referendum cannot be held about
a) a question amending the Fundamental Law
b) the state budget, the execution of the state budget, central tax, levy, contribution, duty, the act on the content of the central conditions of municipal taxes
c) the content of the acts on the elections of Members of Parliament, of Members of the European Parliament and that of municipal representatives and mayors
d) obligations arising from international agreements
e) personal and organisational transformation issues falling within the competence of the National Assembly
f) the dissolution of the National Assembly
g) the dissolution of a municipal representative body
h) the declaration of state of war, the announcement of the state of emergency and that of the preventive security situation and its extension
i) questions regarding participation in military operations
j) granting amnesty.
Other important requirement of the proposed referendum question is that it should also meet the requirement of voters and that of the legislative clarity. The question must be worded only one way to be answered clearly and exclusively. On the other hand the National Assembly has to decide whether, on the basis of the initiative, it has the legislative obligation, and should this be the case what legislation is required.
Appeal against the decision relating to the verification of the question
Judicial review against the decision on the verification of the question must be addressed to the Supreme Court (Curia) and submitted to the National Election Commission so that it should arrive within 15 days after its publication. The judicial proceedings are levy free, but the one applying for a review shall have the right of pre-notation of duties.
If the initiation is rejected by the National Election Commission without examination, because it is pornographic, or by other means contains shocking expressions, the Curia decides on the judicial review against the decision of the National Election Commission within 30 days.
The Curia upholds the decision of the National Election Commission or remits the case to the instant.
If the National Election Commission examines the initiation, the Curia decides on the judicial review against the decision of the National Election Commission regarding the verification of the question within 90 days. The Curia either upholds or alters the decision of the Commission.
No further judicial remedy exists against the Curia’s decision.
Last modify: 2014.10.15.