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Hungary Voter Participation May Drop by 25% on Plan, MTI Reports

Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban’s plan to introduce voter registration ahead of the 2014 elections, criticized by opposition parties, may cut voter participation by a quarter, MTI said citing an Ipsos study.

The voter registration’s impact on political parties would be proportionate, the Ipsos study said, according to the state news service, which didn’t cite a methodology.

Former Hungarian prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany, who heads Demokratikus Koalicio, the smallest parliamentary party, staged a hunger strike last week in Budapest against the voter registration plan, saying if introduced elections would no longer be free and fair.

Orban’s Fidesz party maintained its poll lead in September, with its support rising to 19 percent, the highest level this year, from 17 percent the previous month, MTI said, citing an Ipsos poll. The biggest opposition party, the Socialist Party, saw its backing increase to 15 percent from 14 percent, with the extremist nationalist Jobbik’s support unchanged at 8 percent.

The poll was done “in the first half” of September by asking 1,500 eligible voters, MTI said citing Ipsos, without giving the margin of error.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zoltan Simon in Budapest at zsimon@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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