Constituents who have residency in Hungary, but work or study abroad for a prolonged period of time, and consequently are not going to be in Hungary on the day of the parliamentary elections, may only vote at the foreign embassies. In certain cases, this might necessitate a journey of several hundred kilometres, and entail considerable costs, or even prevent them from voting. At the same time, constituents who are going to stay abroad on the day of the election as well, but who do not have residency in Hungary, can vote by post, which is cheap, simple and convenient. HCLU, representing a constituent working abroad, has contested these discriminative rules at the Constitutional Court.
In their current, third analysis on the legislative work of the Hungarian Parliament, the Eötvös Károly Policy Institute, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) examine whether the constitution-making process in Hungary meets the requirements deriving from the principle of the rule of law and compares the draft “Fundamental Law” (i.e. the draft of the new Constitution) submitted to the Parliament on 14 March 2011 with the present constitutional system.
The new media-press regulation plan is unfounded, and fails to meet established European freedom of press standards. Moreover, the so-called “media package” sponsored by two right-wing MPs from the governing party (Antal Rogán, András Cser-Palkovics), contains bills with several unconstitutional clauses. The bills would bring about significant changes to the functioning of printed press, television, radio and part of the internet as well. The HCLU disapproves of the process by which the new parliamentary majority has gone about building a completely new regulation plan without any previous consultation, open debate with stakeholders, experts or journalists. This is foolhardy at best, since the bills represent an attempt at a far-reaching overhaul in media regulation.