Hungarians overwhelmingly rejected EU migrant quotas

Hungarians overwhelmingly rejected the European Union migrant quotas for their country at a referendum Sunday called by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government.

According to the data posted on the website of Hungary’s National Election Office, with almost 95 percent of votes counted, over 98 percent cast their ballots against EU quotas.

However, the vote was expected to be invalid as the turnout was less than the 50 percent plus-one-vote threshold required.

Turnout had reached only about 40 percent by 5:30 p.m. (1530 GMT), the National Election Office said. Based on that figure, analysts at the Political Capital research and consultancy institute projected a final turnout of not higher than 46 percent. But whether valid or not, the poll results will not be legally binding in Hungary or in the European Union.

The question on the ballot was: “Do you want the European Union to be able to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary even without the consent of Parliament?”

Orban has been a strong opponent of the EU plan to relocate 160,000 migrants more evenly across the bloc, under which Hungary would receive 1,294 asylum seekers.

Nearly 8.3 million Hungarian citizens were eligible to cast ballots in Sunday’s vote, with polling stations open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. (0400-1700 GMT).