- Title: Spoof Hungarian party aims high after ballot-spoiling campaign
- Date: 5th October 2016
- Summary: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (OCTOBER 4, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DOG PARTY CHAIRMAN GERGELY KOVACS PLAYING WITH HIS DOGS ON HIS HOUSE TERRACE DOGS (SOUNDBITE) (Hungarian) DOG PARTY CHAIRMAN, GERGELY KOVACS, SAYING: "Once we win the election we will take six months off for holiday. We promised our voters that. We would also like to re-build the castle district the way we like it, that balcony which the prime minister is currently getting built is not enough in our opinion, we would like to have more swimming pools, palm trees and more comfort services." SCREEN SHOWING PICTURE OF INVALID BALLOT WITH BATMAN HEAD DRAWN OVER THE "YES" OR "NO" ANSWERS KOVACS LOOKING AT SCREEN SCREEN SHOWING PICTURE OF INVALID BALLOT WITH FINGERS THROUGH THE "YES" OR "NO" ANSWERS FEATURING AN ELEPHANT'S TRUNK WITH A DRAWING OF AN ELEPHANT HEAD ON THE BALLOT (SOUNDBITE) (Hungarian) DOG PARTY CHAIRMAN, GERGELY KOVACS, SAYING: "Us in the Dog Party don't really like to get involved in daily political life because it is so full of hatred and it is so boring. I am far too lazy to keep scolding the government and it is not our aim that people should hate Fidesz, or (former PM Ferenc) Gyurcsany's party even more. But we felt we had to confront the government's biggest fault, that is, turning millions of people into evil haters. We had to confront that. It looked like the opposition would not react in a normal way to this tricky issue so we thought somebody had to." DOG PARTY BANNER READING (Hungarian): "AN AVERAGE HUNGARIAN SEES MORE UFOS THAN A MIGRANT DURING HIS LIFE" PEOPLE PASSING BY DOG PARTY STICKER ON BIN DOG PARTY POSTER READING (Hungarian): "DID YOU KNOW? MORE THAN ONE MILLION PEOPLE WANT TO GO TO EUROPE" DOG PARTY POSTERS READING (Hungarian): "DID YOU KNOW? IN MONGOLIA ALONE, FOUR PEOPLE DIED BECAUSE OF BANANA SKIN LAST YEAR" AND "DID YOU KNOW? IN THE 16TH CENTURY IN SOMOGY COUNTY THERE WERE 42 BEAR ATTACKS" (SOUNDBITE) (Hungarian) DOG PARTY CHAIRMAN, GERGELY KOVACS, SAYING: "We would like to suggest another referendum. The question would be: "Would you like another referendum on the migrant quotas?” We saw how every party interpreted results as a success and it is very rare. Perhaps the LMP party won the more as they tried to do all three, the "yes", the "no" and the "boycott" at the same time so their result was about 95 percent positive, but the whole opposition was happy, the government too. It has cost a little bit too much and a little bit too many people turned hateful, but everyone felt vindicated." DOG PARTY BILLBOARD READING (English) "HI BRUSSELS, WE STILL LOVE YOUR MONEY' MAN RUNNING PAST BILLBOARD
- Embargoed: 20th October 2016 11:23
- Keywords: Hungary referendum EU migrant quotas dog party
- Location: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
- City: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
- Country: Hungary
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00252QAI49
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A spoof political party that encouraged Hungarians to draw penises on their ballot papers in last Sunday's referendum (October 2) on migration is now turning its sights towards parliamentary elections in 2018.
The Two-Tailed Dog Party (MKKP) urged voters to defy Prime Minister Viktor Orban by spoiling their papers rather than support his call to oppose European Union quotas stipulating how many refugees the country should take in.
The national election office said 6.2 percent of votes cast were invalid, and the MKKP showed Reuters pictures it had collected of ballot papers decorated with Batmans, elephants and penises. Some were even adorned with real barbed wire - an allusion to Hungary's razor wire fence at its southern border.
More than 98 percent of valid votes were in support of the government, but turnout was too low to make the poll valid. Boosted by the result, the MKKP says it is dreaming of winning power.
"You create a party to win elections," Chairman Gergely Kovacs told Reuters in his log cabin in a forest above Budapest, which he shares with four retrievers.
"Once we win the election we will take six months off. We promised our voters that."
The party, started a decade ago as a joke, has become a semi-serious force. It uses humour to tackle real issues like the national response to refugees, whom the government has vilified since the start of the migration crisis.
For the referendum campaign, Orban's government flooded the country with billboards asking questions like: "Did you know? Migrants perpetrated the Paris attacks", and "Did you know? Brussels wants to resettle a town-full of migrants in Hungary."
The Two-Tailed Dogs responded with their own posters: "Did you know? Over one million Hungarians want to relocate to Western Europe." Or "Did you know? There is a war in Syria."
Another billboard, in English, declared: "Hi Brussels, we still love your money."
The MKKP justified its ballot-spoiling campaign as "a stupid answer to a stupid question". "We thought the government's biggest fault is... turning millions of people into evil haters," Kovacs said. "We thought we had to confront that."
And while waiting for the elections in two years' time, the party also has another idea - to seek a referendum on whether Hungarians would like another referendum.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None