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Renata Uitz: From Shrinking to Closing Civil Society Space in Hungary

“It remains to be seen how far the Hungarian government is willing to go in following the Russian playbook on suppressing public participation in politics,” our Co-Director Renata Uitz writes in her post on Verfassungsblog.

“In a classy late Friday dump, on April 8, 2022, the National Election Commission (NEC) fined over a dozen Hungarian civil society organizations for illegally interfering with the referendum held on election day (April 3, 2022). These NGOs ran a month-long campaign encouraging voters to cast invalid votes in response to the government’s referendum question,” she writes.

“These complaints appear to open a new chapter in building Hungary’s illiberal Christian democracy,” she continues. As she argues, “the Hungarian government has already provided ample proof of its ability to listen and learn: (i) it seized the opposition’s idea of holding a referendum on election day, (ii) it relies on the legal activism of private citizens who seek to suppress participation in public affairs and (iii) public authorities deploy the language of human rights to silence dissenters.”

Read the full post here.

Photo: Facebook / Amnesty International Magyarország
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