Vol. 45, No. 1-2, March-June 2017
The 2016 Referendum in Hungary
- The 2016 Quota Referendum concerned the EU’s proposal for a resettlement scheme for asylum seekers.
- It was initiated by the Fidesz government to strengthen its domestic and European position but it also contributed to anti-immigration and Eurosceptic sentiments.
- The leftist opposition asked voters to abstain or to cast an invalid vote, with a satirical party becoming the central actor of the campaign.
- Despite an insufficient turnout Fidesz tried and failed to initiate legislation based on the widespread rejection of the quota system.
- The referendum may be a first crack in Viktor Orbán’s power, with new impulses for the left and radical-right, but it also questioned the function of referenda in Hungary.
Kurt W. Bassuener & Armina Mujanovic
The 2016 Referendum in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- The referendum, the first since the 1992-1995 war, was held on September 25, 2016 in the Republika Srpska (RS), one of the country's two entities.
- The referendum was called by RS President Milorad Dodik as a plebiscite on maintaining January 9 as Republika Srpska Day, which the BiH Constitutional Court ruled unconstitutional.
- The referendum unsurprisingly elicited a vote in favor of maintaining RS Day, although turnout, at just under 56%, was lower than Prime Minister Dodik desired.
- The RS opposition fared poorly in the municipal elections which followed a week later, on October 2.
- RS President Dodik stated immediately afterward that he would hold a referendum on RS independence in 2018.