Hungarian opposition parties and rights groups say the government has made it nearly impossible to initiate referendums on issues at odds with official policies.

Istvan Nyako, a former Socialist Party lawmaker, said Tuesday he was physically blocked by a group of 15-20 large men from presenting a referendum question on time to the National Election Office about an unpopular law banning most stores from opening on Sundays.

Nyako told The Associated Press he felt "terrorized, threatened and intimidated" as he waited in the lobby of the election office to file his question and was "blocked and pushed aside" when trying to do so.

Other opposition parties and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee have also criticized Prime Minister Viktor Orban and the police for the election office incident.