Ukraine protests against Hungarian officials' actions in local elections

Ukraine protests against Hungarian officials' actions in local elections

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has handed Hungarian Ambassador Istvan Ijgyarto a note of protest against illegal political campaigning by Hungarian officials in favor of a political party in Ukraine's October 25 local elections, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

"Today, Hungarian Ambassador to Ukraine Istvan Ijgyarto was invited to the Foreign Ministry and handed a note of protest against the facts of political campaigning by Hungarian officials in favor of a political party in Ukraine's local elections on October 25, 2020," the statement said.

The Hungarian diplomat was also informed about the position of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry regarding the unacceptability for Hungarian officials to make public statements, especially on election day, calling on Ukrainian citizens of Hungarian origin to vote for the KMKSZ – Hungarian Party in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry recalled that such actions by Hungarian officials contradict Article 60 of the Law of Ukraine "On Local Elections" and Article 57 of the Electoral Code of Ukraine, which prohibit foreigners from participating in election campaigning.

According to the statement, all citizens of Ukraine, in accordance with the constitution and laws of Ukraine, have equal opportunities to exercise their voting rights in a democratic manner and in accordance with international standards.

"The ministry once again called on the Hungarian side to respect the legislation of Ukraine and not to take steps that have signs of direct interference in Ukraine's internal affairs and do not correspond to the good-neighborly nature of Ukrainian-Hungarian relations," the statement reads.

At the same time, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry noted that, for its part, the Ukrainian side remains open to constructive cooperation with Hungary on all issues of mutual interest on the basis of mutual respect and mutual understanding.

On Sunday, October 25, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto called on Hungarians living in Ukraine's Zakarpattia region to support a Hungarian political party in Ukraine's local elections. He also called for support for incumbent Berehove Mayor Zoltan Babjak in the election.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that campaigning by high-ranking Hungarian officials in Ukraine's local elections violates the legislation of the state and leaves the Ukrainian side no choice but to react harshly to such steps in accordance with established international practice and Ukrainian legislation.


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