ROAD TO 2024: Budapest Withdrawal Possible if Referendum Succeeds

February 17, 2017

Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos has indicated he may consider withdrawing the Hungarian capital’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, if a campaign to hold a referendum on the Games proves successful.

A petition against Budapest’s bid to host the games has reportedly secured 266,000 signatures; almost double the 138,000 required to potentially force a vote on Budapest’s candidacy. However, there are doubts surrounding the legitimacy of some signatures, with only inhabitants of Budapest having valid allowance to vote.

“If there is indeed a referendum, or if it turns out that a sufficient number of Budapest citizens have signed that they want a referendum, then I personally will seriously consider whether we should withdraw the bid,” said Tarlós.

The organisation behind the campaign, Momentum, claim funding would be better spent on  other key areas including education, healthcare, housing, living standards and transport.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has so far not commented on the referendum initiative, with the deadline for signatures coming today.