The European Court of Human Rights said in a Tuesday ruling that Hungary’s authorities had acted unlawfully by fining the satirical Two-Tailed Dog party (MKKP) for encouraging people to sabotage a government-initiated referendum on European migrant quotas.
MKKP had suggested before the referendum, which questioned the EU migrant quota system, that voters should invalidate their ballot paper and share a photo of the spoiled sheet via its mobile application.
The National Election Committee fined the party 800,000 forints (EUR 2,580) for “violating the secrecy of the vote”. The fine was later reduced to 100,000 forints by Hungary’s Kuria, the supreme court.
The Strasbourg-based court said Hungary’s authorities had violated passages of the European Charter of Human Rights on the freedom of expression, and ordered the Hungarian state to pay the party 3,330 euros plus legal fees in compensation.