The Hungarian Parliament this afternoon adopted a controversial emergency law. This is a state of emergency in Hungary extended indefinitely, leaving the government of Prime Minister Victor Orbán to govern without interference of parliament. A final coup, is critical.
Prime Minister Orbán and his Fidesz party are in Hungary for ten years in the saddle, but Orbán today adds a scoop on top. Thanks to the emergency law Orbán can now pass through parliament.
A step that is required according to Orbán in the fight against the coronavirus. “Everyone needs to step out of his comfort. This law gives the government the power and means to defend Hungary”, said the prime minister last week.
Here you can read all the questions and answers back from our daily corona update.
But Orbán makes so did the opposition and possibly rebellious comrades powerless. The amendment can only be reversed, with the support of two thirds of parliament. Since Orbán his Fidesz party which now holds two-thirds majority, Orbán has indefinitely to say.
No elections possible
While the current state of emergency applies, no elections are possible. Which now are only scheduled for 2022, but can be removed by law in theory. A direct attack on democracy, says Human Rights Watch. Also criticized the Council of Europe.
high prison sentences
In addition, there are now also high prison on spreading misinformation about the coronavirus. Those who thus “prevent the approach of the government” in the eyes of the government, may receive a prison sentence of five years.
Those who violate the quarantine measures could take up to eight years in prison.
Concerns about democracy
There are already more serious concerns about the democratic rule of law in Hungary. Critical voices could be silenced by Orbán. It then goes to the free press, education and independent judges. The tough anti-immigration policy of Orbán makes for much criticism from human rights organizations.
The European Parliament gave therefore a unique step in 2018: the first called for an Article 7 procedure. Which criminal proceedings can ultimately ensure that Hungary in Europe loses its right to vote. It is now up to European leaders about the decision, but so far have not yet further intervention.