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May 10, 2016

Parliament says yes to referendum on migration

Following last week's green light from the high court, parliament's approval clears the way for the voters to have a say

Hungary‘s parliament has voted in favor of a government proposal to hold a referendum challenging EU refugee redistribution quotas.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's ruling alliance, Fidesz-KDNP backed the proposal, while the opposition was expected to file a constitutional challenge to the motion.

Last week, Hungary‘s Supreme Court gave the prime Minister the green light to hold a referendum asking citizens if the European Union should be permitted to "impose the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary without the consent of parliament."

The EU has been trying to implement a contentious scheme for the redistribution of 160,000 asylum seekers from overwhelmed member states such as Greece and Italy to other EU countries, but relocations have barely started amid opposition from Hungary and other Eastern European members.

Under Hungarian law, a referendum is valid only on turnout of more than 50 percent. The opposition already said it will seek to undermine the referendum with a boycott.