Monday, October 10, 2016

Orban presents constitutional reform against resettlement of foreigners

The Hungarian Prime Minister presented to parliament on Monday a constitutional amendment against the resettlement of foreigners onto Hungarian territory.

Viktor Orban's proposed amendment would ban migrant relocations onto Hungarian territory unless local authorities gave their permission.

He emphasized that foreigners could not settle in Hungary, and specified that, except for European Economic Area citizens, all non-Hungarians could only live in the country by undergoing several bureaucratic processes.

The proposed amendment also declared that the European Union must match basic rights expressed in the national constitution and could not limit a state's unalienable right to decide on its territorial unity, population and governmental structure.

It would not allow foreigners to be deported without legal analysis of each case and group expulsions would be banned.

Non-Hungarians, according to the proposed amendment, would be granted asylum in the country should they be persecuted or have a plausible fear of being persecuted.

Orban promised a constitutional amendment after a controversial referendum on the refugee resettlement system for EU countries.

Although 98 percent of voters ticked the "no" box to the question, "Do you want the EU to be able to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary even without the consent of Parliament?", only 43.3 percent of the electorate turned out to cast ballots, and only 39.9 percent cast valid votes.

This fell short of the minimum participation threshold of 50 percent for the referendum to have legal validity.

It is expected that, once debated in Parliament, the amendment will be passed mid-November due to the large majority Orban's party holds in the National Assembly.



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