The Hungarian parliament handed current longstanding PM Victor Orban indefinite emergency powers because of Coronavirus. Hungary has taken a further step towards authoritarian control in a move that comes before any other country across Europe; including those by far worse hit by the medical emergency.
This moves gives PM Viktor Orban the right to rule indefinitely by decree, effectively putting the democracy under his sole command for as long as he sees fit. Pro democracy spokespeople are viewing this with suspicious eyes stating that Orban has used the last 10+ years in parliament to dismantle checks and balances, build the EU’s largest state propaganda machine and crack down on civil society to silence dissent.
Orban’s track record indicates he will not give up the new powers quickly. His Fidesz party has continuously renewed a “state of emergency for mass immigration,” announced after the 2015 refugee crisis, even after the number of asylum seekers arriving to Hungary plunged.
“I don’t know of another democracy where the government has effectively asked for a free hand to do anything for however long.”Renata Uitz – Central European University in Budapest director of the comparative constitutional-law program.
Spokespeople from the EU say the EU is probing the erosion of the rule-of-law with similar calls coming from the German government, though most have lacked the ability to rein in Orban as populism grows stronger across the bloc. The EU’s executive will review Hungary’s emergency-rule law to see if it’s in line with its norms, Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said on Twitter.
The new law approved is for the “prevention, handling and elimination of the human pandemic as well as to prevent and blunt its harmful effects,” which legal experts said may allow Orban’s right wing political party to keep the emergency measures in place for as long as they see fit.
Any elections can’t be held while the state of emergency is in place, meaning there’s no word on any needed by-elections .
Orban is using this emergency to portray the opposition, which had pleaded with the premier to introduce a renewable 90-day sunset clause, as deserting the country at a time when he was calling for unity.
This move may help Orban effectively deflect blame for not attempting to fix Hungary’s underfunded hospitals; at risk of being overwhelmed faster than health-care systems in some other EU countries.
Opposition parties have for years criticized Orban for splurging on vanity projects, including over-sized soccer stadiums while he has neglected the needs and necessities of the people of Hungary.
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