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PM Orban says elections possible without increasing risk of spreading virus
Ludovic Orban

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Wednesday that the local elections set for September 27 could be held without increasing the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus and underlined that conducting the vote depends on fairness of candidates and their supporters.

"I believe that we can hold the elections without increasing the risk of spreading the virus. I believe that, first and foremost, the candidates are people who want to lead local communities and must set an example to the citizens. The fairness of the candidates and their supporters is very important, and how the elections are organised and especially the capacity not to increase the epidemiological risk during the elections will depend on them," Orban told a joint plenary sitting of Parliament.

He added that September 27 was set after consultations between political leaders and had been voted on by Parliament.

"As long as September 27, the date of the local elections, has been elected by Parliament, the government has made every effort to organise the local elections under good circumstances. Think that the terms of office of the local officials have been extended once. We believe it is important to democracy, it is important to the local communities to choose their legitimate representatives and all the effort we make is to ensure the best conditions for electioneering and for the organisation of the actual voting. The Standing Electoral Authority as well as the Ministry of Health and the Interior Ministry are currently discussing a set of rules that must be followed for electioneering by the candidates and by supporters of the candidates," said Orban.

The prime minister added that the rules to be introduced are designed to protect the health of the citizens with whom the candidates and their campaign staff interact during the election campaign, emphasising that the measures will certainly include wearing a protective mask.

On Wednesday, Orban unveiled in Parliament a report on the measures taken and envisaged by the government to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, the organisation of local elections and the opening of schools.


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