Over the weekend, Hungary’s governing party Fidesz proposed a mixed, single-round parliamentary election system instead of the current two-round one, immediately attracting huge public outcry.
The governing party, which has a sweeping majority in parliament, is in the process of revamping the country’s public sector. This spans from changes in the administration to cutting red tape to simplifying the election system. Part of the latter effort is a plan to eventually decrease the number of parliament members to 200 from the current 386.
Fidesz plans to keep the 5% threshold necessary for any party to have a representative in parliament and would abolish the so-called compensation mandates clause, which provides weaker parties with a place in parliament.
A simplification of Hungary’s complicated election system isn’t a bad idea in itself. But critics say the proposed changes will make it more difficult for smaller parties to nominate candidates, and further boost the weight of those parties that are already strong.