[FACTOFTHEDAY: Hungarian parliament votes against a draft amendment opposing the resettlement of refugees in the country]
Today, the Hungarian Parliament voted against a draft amendment to the constitution submitted by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. For him, the amendment was needed to honor the country’s referendum result.
Orbán had submitted the amendment after the failure of his referendum on the 2nd of October. This referendum opposed the European Union refugees resettlement scheme, and was supported by 98 percent of voters but was declared invalid because of a too low voter turnout.
A two-thirds majority was required in order to amend for the seventh time the Hungarian Fundamental Law (constitution). Yet, the draft amendment was rejected with 131 votes in favor, with three voting against and 65 abstaining. In fact, only members of Fidesz, the governing parties, voted for the change which ended up being two votes less than the two-thirds majority needed.
Orbán had hoped to get the votes of members of the far-right Jobbik party, which was also against the European quotas. Yet, in order to give their support, members of the Jobbik party had asked the government to stop selling residency bonds to foreigners.
Those bonds give foreigners and their immediate families Hungarian papers in exchange for buying a five-year government bond worth 300,000 euros. 6,405 Chinese and 497 Russians have already got Hungarian papers under the program. Gabor Vona, Jobbik chairman said the bonds were the « dirty business » of Fidesz. She added « For Fidesz, dirty money is more important than the true security of the country, ».
Orban’s « zero migrants » policies has already led to the building of fences last year on its border with Serbia and Croatia. Before the fences were built, nearly 400,000 migrants and refugees had passed through Hungary on their way to Norther Europe. Today, most human right NGOs have declared the Hungarian asylum system dead.