In the wake of the city of Hamburg, Germany seeing its referendum to bid on the 2024 Summer Olympic Games shot down by its constituents via a public vote, another candidate in the running to host the Games is considering a similar referendum.
The Budapest City Council had put forth a proposal to hold a public referendum to consider whether Budapest, Hungary should indeed continue with its bid for the 2024 Olympic Games. In a vote today, the idea was rejected by a tally of 16 to 14, with 2 abstentions.
The referendum proposal was originally brought forth by council member Csaba Horvath, who, prior to the council’s vote, stated, “Based on the current proposal the Budapest Olympic Games cannot be supported because only those who foot the bill [the taxpayers] can decide about its fate.”
Budapest Mayor Istav Tarlos, stated, “I absolutely respect referenda, and we will vote on the proposal. It is an open question, however, whether two years before the hosts are chosen voters have enough information about hosting the Olympic Games.”
Continuing on the political train of thought, “From a political point-scoring point of view, ‘Let’s ask the people’ sounds good,” said Tarlós. “If decision-makers are unable to make decisions, then they are unfit for what they were voted for.”
After the referendum vote result was announced, the City Council approved the creation of a Bid Committee in partnership with the government and Hungarian Olympic Committee, which would be charged with compiling the Candidature File for the official bid. The group would also be responsible for the campaign’s promotion both home and abroad.
Budapest is in contention for the 2024 Olympics bid along with Los Angeles, Paris and Rome, while now-out-of-the-running-Hamburg was the only candidate planning to hold a referendum. Now just 4 cities remain in the bidding competition.
The ultimate host city of the 2024 Olympic Games will be selected in the year 2017 from the list of viable candidates.