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Hungary Court Strikes Down Voter-Registration Legislation

Hungary’s Constitutional Court struck down legislation that would have led to mandatory voter registration, a requirement that the political opposition said infringed on basic rights.

The rule, attached to a new constitution introduced by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government this year, was discarded on “formal, procedural” grounds, according to a statement on the Budapest-based court’s website today. The court will review the content of the registration requirement in a separate inquiry, it said.

“Parliament, acting in its capacity to create a constitution, is also bound by procedural and legislative rules,” the court said. “Laws that break these guidelines are void.”

Opposition parties and civic groups had said mandatory registration would infringe on citizens’ fundamental rights and lead to a lower turnout favoring the ruling Fidesz party. Orban said the law would help avoid excluding hundreds of thousands of voters who live and work abroad.

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