LMP to hold demo against rejection of party’s referendum bid on battery plants

Opposition LMP will hold a demonstration against a recent decision by the National Election Committee (NVB) rejecting the party’s referendum initiative on requiring the consent of local communities before building battery plants, Krisztina Hohn, the welfare spokeswoman of the party said on Sunday.

In its decision last week, the committee rejected LMP’s bid on the ground that it did not meet the constitutional stipulation that the circumstances for ordering a local referendum on the basis of subject matter could only be regulated in exceptional cases. It said the rules of procedure provided by the laws currently in effect were suitable for meeting LMP’s goal of requiring the consent of local communities for the construction of battery plants.

The NVB said that if the regulation proposed by LMP were to enter into force, an invalid local referendum would prevent the construction of a battery plant even if a majority of those who voted were in favour of the project.

Because of this, the initiative is out of line with the constitution, which therefore means it is “aimed at an implicit amendment to the constitution”, which cannot be subject to a referendum.

Hohn told an online press conference that “had the NVB approved our initiative, locals could have decided whether or not they want to have a battery plant built in their immediate neighbourhood”.

She said LMP was organising a demonstration for April 4 in front of NVB’s headquarters in central Budapest which would give Hungarians the opportunity to express their opinion on battery plant projects that are “energy guzzlers, will pollute our rivers and allow their foreign owners to exploit and seize our arable land”.

Hohn noted that LMP had appealed NVB’s decision, but “has no illusions, having learnt over the past 13 years that [ruling] Fidesz has completely dismantled the democratic system and would force its will through even if people strongly oppose it.”

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