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Hungary - Electoral Law
(Election to the European Parliament: 13 June 2004)

1. LEGAL BASIS
  • The regulations concerning the right to vote are laid down by the Constitution of the Hungarian Republic.
  • The regulations of the substantive law concerning the elections to the European Parliament are established in the Act No. CXIII. of 2003. on the Election of the members of the European Parliament, which at the same time also amends the Act No. C. of 1997. on the Electoral procedure when establishing the rules for the electoral procedure of the European Parliament election.
  • The Act authorizes the Minister of Interior to lay down the detailed arrangements for the conduct of the election in a regulation.
2. ELECTORAL SYSTEM
Proportional representation: The election is conducted in a proportional system, based on party lists. Only those party lists, which have obtained more than 5% of the total amount of valid votes, will take part in the allocation of mandates.
Allocation of seats: 24 seats, which will be distributed according to the D’Hondt method. The country will be considered as one constituency. Voters will be voting for party lists with no preferential votes.
3. REGISTRATION OF CANDIDATES
Deadline for registration: The party lists containing the candidates shall be submitted to the National Election Committee, 30 days before the election day at the latest. The National Election Committee decides on it within three days after the submission.
Deposit: None.

Conditions: Lists can be put forward by parties registered according to the Act on the operation and financial management of political parties. In order to put forward a list, a party needs to collect at least 20.000 endorsements.

Incompatibilities: A candidate may not be the member of election bodies, and may only stand for election in one Member State of the European Union (also see below Voting/Standing for election).
4. POLLING DAY : 13 JUNE 2004
Polling day: The polling day is set by the President of the Republic, 72 days before the election at the latest. According to the Hungarian traditions, elections usually take place on Sunday, therefore the most probable date for the polling day is the 13th of June 2004.
Other elections on the same day: There is no legal prohibition for holding other elections on the day of the European Parliament election. We are already aware of some municipal by-elections and local referenda set for the same day.
Polling hours: from 8 am to 7 pm.
The count begins: Counting of votes begins after the close of the polling stations. In Hungary, polling stations close at 7. p.m.; at the diplomatic missions abroad this is settled based on the Act, but polling statons there close at the latest the same time as in Hungary.
Final results: In Hungary, it is regulated by law that informative data on the non-official results of the election shall be published by the election offices. Final, official results can only be established, however, based on the original records. The informative data on the non-official results of the European Parliament election, as well as the election results may only be published after the end of elections in every Member State of the European Union. The final result of the election is published by the National Election Committee in the Magyar Közlöny (Official Journal of Hungary).
5. VOTING / STANDING FOR ELECTION
Right to vote: Every Hungarian, who reached the age of majority and has a residence in Hungary has the right to vote, given that he/she is not excluded from this right. The list of voters is established for each settlement based on the data of the central register of personal data and addresses. Those citizens, who – according to the data provided by the other Member States of the European Union – have decided to practice their right to vote in another Member State, are deleted from the list of voters in Hungary. Citizens of other European Union Member States, who have a residence in Hungary, have also the right to vote, if he/she meets the requirements for the Hungarian voters, and asks for his inclusion in the list of voters. These citizens receive a personal notification until the 1st of March, 2004, and may ask for their inclusion into the list of voters until the 30th of April at the leader of the local election office competent at their residence.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voting by post: Voting by mail is not possible. Citizens, who are not present at their place of residence on the polling day, may vote with a certificate within the territory of Hungary. Citizens, who are abroad on the polling day may vote at the embassies, given that they asked for their inclusion to the register of voters at the diplomatic missions 30 days before the polling day at the latest.

Right to stand for election: All voters have the right to stand for election as candidates on party lists. The candidate shall declare that he/ she has the right to vote, and that he/ she does not have a function, which is incompatible with the membership of the European Parliament, or in case he obtains a mandate, he resigns from that function. In order to register a candidate who is the citizen of an other European Union Member State, a certificate of the competent authorities of the Member State of which the candidate is a national, shall be attached, stating that he/ she is eligible for election. Being a candidate is not limited by the fact that the mandate to be obtained may be incompatible with other functions.

The Act on the election of the members of the European Parliament does not lay down regulations concerning the incompatibilities. The legal status of the members of Parliament will be regulated by a separate act, which is currently under elaboration.

6. ELECTION CAMPAIGN
Funding: This issue is not regulated by the Act on the election of members of the European Parliament.
Official campaign starting date: The official campaign starts, when the President of the Republic formally calls the election. By law, this should happen at least 72 days before the election.

Media access: The Act on the electoral procedure and the Act on the radio and television broadcasting regulate the media access for the political parties during election campaigns. During the campaign period, broadcasters may publish political advertisements based on equal conditions for each party.

Opinion polls: No opinion polls may be published between the 5th of June and the 13th of June, until the close of polling stations.