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Hungarians Hand Orban Setback in Vote on EU Refugee Policy

  • Participation falls short of threshold to make ballot binding
  • Results show 98% backing for Orban in rejecting refugee quotas
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Could Europe's Migrant Crisis Topple Merkel?

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Hungarians dealt a blow to Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s efforts to reject the European Union’s migration policy and boost his leverage in the bloc, with too few voters turning out in a weekend referendum to make the result binding.

The share of valid votes was 40 percent, with 98.3 percent support for Orban’s preferred “no” vote, according to data from the election authority after 99.9 percent of the votes were counted. The government needed at least half of the electorate to cast a valid vote in the referendum, which asked the following question: “Do you want the European Union to be able to order the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary without parliament’s consent?”