Hungarians residing permanently outside their country may help Viktor Orban score a higher win in this year’s parliamentary election after they were given the right to vote. Mr. Orban is headed for a second consecutive term in power. His Fidesz party won the 2010 election in a landslide. Its two-thirds majority in the country’s parliament has allowed it to push through at-times controversial legislation, including a change of electoral rules that allows Hungarian minorities in other countries to vote in national elections. Depending on the turnout in Hungary, their votes could be decisive, experts agree. So far, only those with a permanent residence in the country could vote at the elections, casting their votes at embassies. Legislation by the current government extended voting rights to those without a permanent address in Hungary.
How much these votes will affect the outcome of the elections will mostly depend on the number of voters in Hungary and their party preferences among Hungary’s voting-age population of 8.1 million, said Robert Laszlo, elections expert at think tank Political Capital.
Registration for the elections is obligatory for those who don’t have a permanent residence in Hungary. The process is open until two weeks before the election, set for April 6.