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Act XX of 1949

The Constitution of the Republic of Hungary

Chapter I.

General Provisions

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Article 2.

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(2) In the Republic of Hungary supreme power is vested in the people, who exercise their sovereign rights directly and through elected representatives.

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Chapter II

The Parliament

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Article 20.

(1) The general election of Members of Parliament - with the exception of elections held due to the declaration of the Parliament's dissolution or the Parliament having been dissolved - shall be held in the month of April or May in the fourth year following the election of the previous Parliament.

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Article 28/B.

(1) The subject of national referenda or popular initiatives may fall under the jurisdiction of the Parliament.

(2) A majority of two-thirds of the votes of the Members of Parliament present shall be required for the Parliament to pass the law on national referenda and popular initiatives.

Article 28/C.

(1) A national referendum may be held for reaching a decision or for an expression of opinion. Carrying out a national referendum may be mandatory or may be the result of the consideration of a matter.

(2) A national referendum shall be held if so initiated by at least 200,000 voting citizens.

(3) If a national referendum is mandatory, the result of the successfully held national referendum shall be binding for the Parliament.

(4) Based on its consideration, the Parliament may order a national referendum upon the initiative by the President of the Republic, the Government, by one-third of Members of the Parliament or by 100,000 voting citizens.

(5) National referendum may not be held on the following subjects:

a) on laws on the central budget, the execution of the central budget, taxes to the central government and duties, customs tariffs, and on the central government conditions for local taxes,

b) obligations set forth in valid international treaties and on the contents of laws prescribing such obligations,

c) the provisions of the Constitution on national referenda and popular initiatives,

d) personnel and restructuring (reorganization, termination) matters falling under Parliamentary jurisdiction,

e) dissolution of the Parliament,

f) the Government's program,

g) declaration of a state of war, a state of emergency or a state of national crisis,

h) use of the Hungarian Armed Forces abroad or within the country,

i) dissolution of the representative body of local governments,

j) amnesty.

(6) A national ratification referendum shall be considered successful if more than half of the votes of the citizens voting are valid, but at least more than one-quarter of all eligible voters have given the same answer in the referendum.

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Article 28/E.

In order to call a national referendum, signatures may be collected for a period of four months in the case of a civic initiative, and for a period of two months in the case of a national popular initiative.

Chapter III

The President of the Republic

Article 30/A.

(1) The President of the Republic shall -

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d) announce general parliamentary and local government elections, mayoral elections as well as the dates of the European parliamentary elections and national referenda;

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g) have the right to initiate national referenda;

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Chapter IX

Local governments

Article 41

(1) The territory of the Republic of Hungary shall be divided into the capital, counties, towns and villages.

(2) The capital shall be divided into districts. In towns districts may be established.

Article 42

The community of villages, towns, the capital and its districts shall be entitled to the right of local government. The local government shall be an independent, democratic administration of local public affairs related to the community of voters, exercising local public authority on behalf of the population.

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Article 44

(1) Voters shall exercise local government through the body of representatives elected by them, and by local referendums.

(2) The election of the members and mayors of local governments shall, except for by-elections, be held in October of the fourth year following the previous general elections.

(3) The mandate of the body of representatives shall last until the day of the general election of local governments. In the event of elections not held for lack of candidates, the mandate of the body of the representatives shall be extended until the day of by-elections. The mayor's mandate shall last until the new mayor is elected.

(4) Prior to the expiry of its mandate, the body of representatives may, pursuant to the conditions set forth under the law on local self-governments, pronounce its dissolution. Such dissolution and winding-up [clause l) paragraph (3) Article 19] shall also terminate the mayor's mandate.

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Chapter XII

Basic rights and obligations

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Article 68.

(1) The national and ethnic minorities living in the Republic of Hungary participate in the sovereign power of the people: they represent a constituent part of the State.

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(3) The laws of the Republic of Hungary shall ensure representation for the national and ethnic minorities living within the country.

(4) National and ethnic minorities shall have the right to form local and national bodies for self-government.

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Article 70.

(1) All adult Hungarian citizens residing in the territory of the Republic of Hungary have the right to be elected and the right to vote in Parliamentary elections; they have the right, furthermore, to participate in national referenda and popular initiatives.

(2) All adult Hungarian citizens residing in the territory of the Republic of Hungary and all adult citizens of other Member States of the European Union who reside in the territory of the Republic of Hungary shall have the right to be elected in local ballots for the election of representatives and mayors; they shall have the right to vote, provided that they are in the territory of the Republic of Hungary on the day of the election or referendum, and, furthermore, to participate in local referenda and popular initiatives. Only Hungarian citizens may be elected to the post of mayor in any local government and the City of Budapest.

(3) All adult persons holding refugee, immigrant or permanent resident status in the Republic of Hungary shall have the right to vote in local ballots for the election of representatives and mayors, provided that they are in the territory of the Republic of Hungary on the day of the election or referendum, and furthermore to participate in local referenda or popular initiatives.

(4) All adult Hungarian citizens residing in the territory of the Republic of Hungary and all adult citizens of other Member States of the European Union who reside in the territory of the Republic of Hungary shall have the right to be elected and the right to vote in elections for the European Parliament.

(5) The right to vote shall not be granted to persons who are under guardianship or conservatorship, persons who are subject to a final legal judgment forbidding them to participate in public affairs, or persons who are incarcerated on the basis of a final legal judgment or who have been committed to treatment in a mental institution on the basis of a final legal judgment rendered in criminal proceedings. Furthermore, adult citizens of other Member States of the European Union who reside in the territory of the Republic of Hungary shall not have the right to be elected if they have been deprived of such right in their country of citizenship by the laws of that country or by a judicial or other official decision.

(6) All Hungarian citizens have the right to hold public office in accordance with their suitability, education and professional ability.

Chapter XIII.

The Basic Principles of Elections

Article 71.

(1) Members of Parliament, Members of the European Parliament, local government representatives, mayors and the mayor of the capital are elected by direct, secret ballot by voting citizens, based on their universal and equal right to vote.

(2) The members of the local government representative bodies of counties shall elect the president of the representative body by direct, secret ballot. The president must be a Hungarian citizen.

(3) Separate laws shall establish provisions for the election of Members of Parliament, Members of the European Parliament and members of representative bodies of local governments and mayors. A two-thirds majority vote of the Members of Parliament present is required to pass such laws.

(4) A separate law shall establish provisions for the election of representatives of minority self-governments. A two-thirds majority vote of the Members of Parliament present is required to pass such laws.

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