The opposition’s referendum will be a way to “give politics back to the people”, representatives of the united opposition said after collecting the signatures required to support the initiative.
Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony told a press conference held in front of Parliament on Friday that implementing earlier plans to build a student accommodation complex in Budapest rather than a campus for China’s Fudan University was in the public interest. He also called for a “less tight-fisted” system for job-seekers. Anna Orosz of the Momentum party referred to the large number of signatories supporting the referendum initiative, saying the united opposition had surmounted manifold difficulties in its bid to topple the current government, and it would do so again. Erzsébet Gy. Németh of the Democratic Coalition said that the required number of signatures had been collected despite “the government doing everything” to thwart the initiative. She asked for continued support to ensure that “this country has a new, democratic government”. Imre Komjáthi, deputy leader of the Socialist Party, said “deceitful government propaganda cannot cover up a crisis” in which people were struggling to make ends meet “while the government is busy stuffing their own pockets and those of its cronies”.
Párbeszéd co-leader Tímea Szabó said that the collection of signatures for the opposition’s referendum drive had taken just 30 days, and the referendum could be held at the same time as the general election on April 3. If President János Áder set a different date, this would “go against the will of Hungarian people”, she added. LMP co-leader Máté Kanász-Nagy said that the referendum was “becoming more and more relevant”. He accused people close to the ruling Fidesz party of “looting without any inhibition”.
After the press conference, a human chain was formed to forward the signatures collected from Parliament square to the National Election Office’s seat nearby.