Just as one possible referendum over the Budapest 2024 Olympic Games bid was rejected, a second was approved Thursday leaving fifteen days for the Hungarian Supreme Court to hear appeals against holding a public vote.
But if the referendum is not blocked by the high court, the effort to schedule the vote still requires a signature from ten percent of the eligible voters in Budapest within thirty days – a formidable task.
Budapest 2024 Chair Balázs Fürjes said he respects the legal process that could enable a referendum but pointed to the strong support his bid enjoys that would seem to make a vote unnecessary.
Fürjes told GamesBids.com in a statement Thursday “this approval process is a matter for the legal authorities and the Election Committee will rule on the legality of the proposal in due course. It goes without saying that the Bid fully respects the democratically-established legal process.”
“As Chairman, however, I would simply note the outcome of the recent IPSOS poll that found that 62% of Hungarians would be proud for Hungary to host the Games, this number is 73% among the youngsters.
“Meantime the Bid enjoys the support of the Hungarian Government, the Municipality of Budapest and the National Parliament. And our collective commitment to the Budapest bid is enshrined in law through the Olympic Act, passed by Parliament this Summer with the cross-post support of 84%.
“We are proud of the fact that majority of the Hungarians support our Bid. It is a Bid that is good for Budapest, good for Hungary and good for the future of the Olympic Movement. We will continue to explain to Hungary and the world why this – and why we are excited by the opportunities that the Bid offers for Hungarians and for sport.”
Budapest is competing to host the Olympic Games against rivals in Los Angeles, Paris and Rome – the latter facing political opposition that may end the bid before it hits the finish line. Hamburg withdrew from the race last year after losing its referendum by a narrow margin.
The IOC will vote for the winner September 17.