a) Hungary / b) Constitutional Court / c) / d) 08-12-2010 / e) 193/200 / f) / g) Magyar Közlöny (Official Gazette), 2010/185 / h) .
Keywords of the Systematic Thesaurus:
Institutions - Elections and instruments of direct democracy - Constituencies.
Fundamental Rights - Equality - Scope of application - Elections.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Electoral rights - Right to vote.
Keywords of the alphabetical index:
Election, constituency, boundary / Constituency, formation.
The formation of constituencies is closely linked to the realisation of the right to vote. Therefore statutory regulation is necessary to demarcate the specific voting districts and define the authoritative standpoints relating to changes to constituency boundaries.
I. This decision arose from the constitutional review of certain parts of Act XXXIV of 1989 on the election of Members of Parliament, and certain provisions of Act C of 1997 on Electoral Procedure as well as Decree no. 2/1990 on the demarcation of specific voting districts (the "Decree").
The Constitutional Court took as its starting point Decision no. 22/2005. In this Decision, the Constitutional Court criticised the rules concerning the formation of constituencies as being highly inadequate. Neither the above-mentioned Acts, nor any other law defined any authoritative standpoints relating to changes to constituency boundaries.
Therefore, the Constitutional Court stated, Parliament had neglected its duty as legislator and created an unconstitutional situation. In addition, the Court set out a constitutional requirement to the legislator that the number of people entitled to vote in individual voting districts should differ to the least extent possible, and only for an adequate constitutional reason. The legislator must also aim at the slightest possible difference in defining the mandates to be won on regional electoral lists. The mandates will have to be adjusted according to the number of voters registered in a directory. The legislator must try to ensure that the principle of equality is manifest both in the case of voting districts and that of regional lists.
The Court in its current decision stressed that the formation of constituencies is closely linked to the realisation of the right to vote. Therefore statutory regulation is necessary for the manifestation of the above constitutional requirements. Parliament is to pass a statute on this subject for the passage of which a two-thirds majority of the Members of Parliaments is required.
Consequently, the Constitutional Court annulled Article 50.2 of the Act on the election of Members of Parliament, which empowered the Government to determine the ordinal numbers, seats and boundaries of individual and territorial constituencies. It also declared null and void Article 152 of the Act on Electoral Procedure, which authorised the Government to determine the sequence number, seat and territory of parliamentary single mandate and regional constituencies. Finally, the Court pro futuro annulled the whole Decree as of 31 December 2011 to allow the legislator to put in place authoritative standpoints relating to changes of constituency boundaries and to form the boundaries.