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Hungary's Orban Claims Referendum Victory Despite Low Turnout

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (file photo)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has declared victory in a referendum on mandatory European Union migrant resettlement quotas, despite a low turnout that appeared to render it invalid.

With about 99 percent of the votes counted in the October 2 vote, more than 3.2 million voters -- or about 98 percent of those who cast valid ballots -- backed the government to reject the EU quotas.

But only 43 percent of the electorate voted, short of the 50 percent required to be valid.

"We achieved an excellent result," Orban said on October 3, referring to the outcome as a "weapon that will be rather sharp in Brussels."

Orban, a right-wing populist, made no mention of the referendum being invalid, and said he would present a proposal to amend the constitution reflecting people's intentions.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP, and the BBC