Proposed Changes to Hungarian Minority Act Scrapped by Opposition
11 March 2005
The Hungarian opposition party Alliance of Young Democrats ("FIDESZ") dismissed a proposal by the Hungarian government for changes to the 1993 Act on National and Ethnic Minorities which would have introduced a register for voters and for those who should stand for election as minority representatives, according to the Hungarian national daily newspaper Népszabadság of October 14, 2004. The action by FIDESZ means that the required two thirds of parliamentary votes cannot be secured and the proposed amendments cannot be passed. The proposed amendments to the Minorities Act were introduced following voting irregularities during minority self-government elections in 2002, in which members of the majority Hungarian population were elected by ethnic Hungarian voters to represent minority groups – particularly Roma – at the local level. "Minority self-governments" are advisory bodies to local and national governments. The thirteen official minorities in Hungary – including Roma – may establish such bodies under certain conditions. Previous articles appearing in Roma Rights on Hungary's controversial minority rights system and its impact on Roma can be accessed at: http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=1302 and http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=1255.