Ukrainian MFA hands note of protest to Hungarian ambassador in connection with agitation of Hungarian officials in favor of party at local elections.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has invited Ambassador of Hungary István Íjgyártó to Ukraine in for talks after issuing a note of protest in connection with the facts of political agitation of Hungarian officials in favor of one political party in the local elections of Ukraine on October 25, 2020.

"The Hungarian diplomat has been informed of the position of the Foreign Ministry on the inadmissibility of making statements in public space by Hungarian officials, especially on election day, when the electoral silence obliges, with calls for Ukrainian citizens of Hungarian origin to vote for the Hungarian Party - the Society of Hungarian Culture of Zakarpattia," the Ministry's spokesperson said in a comment made public on Monday.

It is noted that such actions of Hungarian officials contradict Article 50 of the law of Ukraine on local elections and Article 57 of the Electoral Code of Ukraine, which prohibit foreigners from taking part in the election campaign.

The ministry said that, in accordance with the Constitution and laws, equal opportunities for all citizens of Ukraine have been created to exercise their electoral rights in accordance with international standards.

"The ministry once again called on the Hungarian side to respect the legislation of Ukraine and not take steps that indicate direct interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine and do not correspond to the good-neighborly character of Ukrainian and Hungarian relations. For its part, the Ukrainian side remains open to constructive cooperation with Hungary in all issues of mutual interest, based on mutual respect and understanding," the foreign ministry said.

As reported, on the morning of October 25, Szijjártó on his Facebook page called on the Hungarian of Zakarpattia to support the KMKS Party of Hungarians of Ukraine in the local elections, as well as incumbent Mayor of Berehove Zoltan Babiak. He also said that residents of Zakarpattia, who are in Hungary, can cross the border to vote and return without the obligation to undergo the 14-day lockdown.

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