Election system reform – The opposition is afraid of even more disproportion
Thursday, 14 July 2011 09:09
The Fidesz leadership proposes a single-round election system featuring both individual candidates and party lists. It was announced by János Áder (Fidesz MP) on Saturday. Áder is responsible for the coordination of the election system reform. He said Fidesz was planning to reduce the number of MPs to 200 (from the current 386). Half of the MPs would be elected in individual constituencies, while the other half from national party lists. According to the current Fidesz draft the new election system lacks a compensation list. Compensation list is a major tool to guarantee smaller parties that they can get into the parliament.
The current 5 percent threshold would not change in the future. The candidates would have to collect 1500 recommendation slips within 21 days. (the current rules require 750 slips to get on the lists). Zsolt Molnár (MSZP - Hungarian Socialist Party’s operational director) talked about the concerns over the planned election system to the Hungarian Press Agency. First of all he highlighted it was a pity that Fidesz had not conducted any discussion with other parties about this important topic. Molnár finds the new election system a step backward in democracy, as it does not fulfill the requirement for proportionality. Also, he thinks the main problem is that the new system cannot reflect the voters’ will. The end of the compensation list leads to the winner’s overcompensation. Finally, Molnár added that MSZP could accept some elements in the election reform such as the concept of a single-round.
MSZP rejects the granting of voting rights to Hungarians living in neighboring countries. It would enable people who do not reside in the Republic of Hungary to encroach on Hungary’s home affairs. MSZP condones the increase in the number of recommendation slips required, as the constituencies actually grow. Molnár warns on the possible manipulation of constituencies when these will be reconstituted soon.
The green party LMP announced that they lacked information on all the details of the reform draft but it seemed to be a move backward.