POSTED: Wednesday November 30th 2016

Public enthusiasm for Budapest 2024 Olympic Games Bid prevails as referendum fails due to lack of support

The Budapest Municipality has announced that a referendum on the Budapest bid for the 2024 Olympic Games has failed due to insufficient interest.

The referendum was proposed in October to answer the question: “Do you agree that the Budapest Municipality should withdraw its application to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024?”
After the referendum was approved, however, organisers failed to follow up and did not collect the signature collection forms that were specially printed for their campaign. It was also noted that no signatures in support of the referendum were submitted within the designated time period of 30 days.

When asked about the developments, Budapest 2024 representatives said that the no show is a positive outcome for their Olympic Bid.

“It’s a good day for the bid,” said László Vajda, Vice-Chairman of Budapest 2024. “The question of the referendum was raised, it was accepted and it ran its natural course. Every democratic opportunity has been given to a very small minority who wished to validate their opinion, despite overwhelming support from a clear majority supporting the Olympic Bid at the last independent polls. It’s quite obvious now that this referendum has turned out to be a damp squib.”

Responding to the announcement, Balázs Fürjes, Chairman of Budapest 2024, also commented:

“It is of course the democratic right of every citizen of Budapest to seek a referendum on a matter of public policy in the city and we entirely respect that right. We strongly encourage public debate and are delighted by the support and encouragement that we continue to receive.

“This is a bid that enjoys strong and widespread support among ordinary Hungarians nationwide. Two-thirds of Hungarians would describe themselves as ‘proud’ or ‘very proud’ to see Budapest host the Games. There are clear indicators that this sentiment runs across the full cross-section of society, including urban and rural communities.

“Ours is a sports-mad country.  We were a founding member of the IOC and we have participated in the Games since 1896. Hungary is the only country ranked in the top ten of the all-time Olympic Medal table that has not yet hosted the Olympic Games. With fewer than 300 days to go until the IOC votes on the host city for 2024, we will continue to engage the support of our fellow Hungarians, sharing why we believe that we are the right city at the right time for the Games - for Hungarians and the Olympic Family."

- ENDS -

- This year’s Sportcal listings recognise Budapest as the rising star of major global sport events, ranking the city seventh among the top global sport cities and second in the Future Sports Cities Index 2017-2023. Named as European Capital of Sport 2019, Budapest is a high-value city, with an excellent transport infrastructure and a long-term sustainable development plan. The Budapest 2024 Olympic Bid proposes a compact and intimate Games footprint in the capital, and a truly nationwide Games that features sport in six other Olympic cities. Budapest 2024 is dedicated to deliver an on-budget and inclusive Olympic and Paralympic Games in one of the top 20 most peaceful countries in the world. Sports-mad Hungary was one of the founding members of the IOC and has participated in the Games since 1896. Hungary is the only country ranked in the top ten of the all-time Olympic Medal table that has not yet hosted the Olympic Games.

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Keywords · Budapest 2024 · Olympics

Name: Ivan Rozsa
Organization: Budapest 2024

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