Hungary Votes To End Viktor Orban Emergency Powers


Hungary Votes To End Viktor Orban Emergency Powers

Hungarian lawmakers have voted in favour of repealing extraordinary powers granted to Prime Minister Viktor Orban to fight the coronavirus.

Members of parliament unanimously requested the government lift the state of emergency and Mr Orban’s powers to rule by decree.

The government is expected to revoke the measures by the end of the week.

But opposition groups fear Mr Orban’s administration has greatly expanded its powers amid the outbreak.

NGOs critical of Hungary’s leader issued a joint statement saying the vote to remove powers was an “optical illusion” and that the authorities retained greater powers than before the crisis.

Democracy watchdog the Karoly Eotvos Institute believes the legislation does not end the measures but instead “creates a legal basis for the use of newer extraordinary and unlimited government powers”, according to the New York Times.

Mr Orban, however, says these powers enabled him to tackle the outbreak quickly and effectively.

Lockdown restrictions have been largely lifted in the country of 10 million people. According to Johns Hopkins University, Hungary has confirmed 4,077 cases and 565 deaths.

On Tuesday, lawmakers voted by 190 in favour and none against to end the state of emergency and Mr Orban’s extraordinary powers.

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The original coronavirus protection act approved on 30 March did not set a deadline for the measures, and opponents feared it was an attempt by the prime minister to extend his control over the country.

But while MPs have now asked to end the measures, they also approved a bill allowing the government to impose another state of emergency in the event of another medical emergency.

Mr Orban, a nationalist and conservative, and his ruling Fidesz party, which holds an outright majority in parliament, are accused of wielding power in increasingly authoritarian ways.

Hungary Votes To End Viktor Orban Emergency Powers


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