Candidates who intend to run in the spring parliamentary elections have a little less than a week left to obtain the necessary number of endorsement signatures to appear on the April 3 ballot. Parties began collecting these signatures last Saturday, and their candidates have until 4:00pm on February 25 to get at least 500 valid signatures to make their run official.
As of February 18, the National Election Office (NVI)’s website showed that only ruling party coalition Fidesz-KDNP had successfully registered candidates in all 106 individual electoral districts.
The opposition’s six-party coalition, United for Hungary, had only 105 candidates registered as of Friday, after Dialogue’s Mihály Gér withdrew his candidacy in Pest County’s 10th District during the week. Rebeka Szabó, also from Dialogue, will run in place of him for the united opposition.
Mihály Gér decided to drop out of the race after news reports were published about an accident that he was involved with in 2016. Although the politician was found innocent of hitting a couple with his car on Andrássy Avenue, killing one of them and seriously injuring the other, he dropped his bid for office after it was revealed that he had made distasteful and insenstive comments about the incident in a private Facebook group.
In third place with endorsement signatures is the Our Homeland Movement, with 29 candidates registered with NVI. Hungarians will be able to vote for 19 candidates in György Gődény’s anti-vaccine Normal Life Party on April 3, while 10 candidates running in György Gattyán’s Solution Movement will officially have a chance to enter Parliament.
Perhaps surprisingly, after half of the endorsement signature time now having passed, only two candidates from the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party (MKKP) have managed to collect the 500 signatures needed to get their names on the ballot.
According to a 2020 amendment to the election law submitted by former Jobbik and Our Homeland politician János Volner, only parties that have a minimum of 71 individual candidates in at least 14 counties or the capital can set up a national list of candidates.
Before then, it only took 27 candidates to set up a national list. Zsolt Semjén proposed raising this to 50 candidates in at least 9 counties, but the government majority in Parliament eventually got behind Volner’s proposal.
[Magyar Hang][Photo: Magyar Kétfarkú Kutya Párt / Facebook]