- Title: Spoof Hungarian party aims high after ballot-spoiling campaign
- Date: 5th October 2016
- Summary: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (FILE, 2016) (REUTERS) DOG CARTOON WITH EYES CROSSED OVER SYMBOLISING INVALID VOTING ON TWO TAILED DOG PARTY POSTER DOG PARTY POSTER READING (Hungarian): "DID YOU KNOW? SINCE THE START OF THE MIGRATION CRISIS THERE HAVE BEEN MORE BLUE POSTERS THAN MIGRANTS?" GOVERNMENT POSTER READING (Hungarian): "DID YOU KNOW? SINCE THE START OF THE MIGRATION CRISIS THE NUMBER OF HARASSMENT OF WOMEN HAS RISEN SHARPLY?" GOVERNMENT POSTERS ON HOUSE WALL GOVERNMENT POSTERS READING (Hungarian): "DID YOU KNOW? BRUSSELS WANTS TO SETTLE A WHOLE TOWN FULL OF ILLEGAL MIGRANTS INTO HUNGARY?" AND "DID YOU KNOW? FROM LIBYA ALONE NEARLY A MILLION PEOPLE WANT TO COME TO EUROPE?" DOG PARTY BANNERS ON WALL DOG PARTY BANNER READING (Hungarian): "A STUPID ANSWER TO A STUPID QUESTION"
- 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: LVA00152QAI49
- 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: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
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