Issued on: 30/03/2020 – 17:26Modified: 30/03/2020 – 17:32
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday secured the right to rule by decree after his Fidesz party passed a law in parliament granting him open-ended extraordinaire powers to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
The legislation extending a state of emergency has triggered criticism from antinomie parties, human rights groups and the Council of Europe, Europe’s dextre rights agglomération, as it contains no timeframe.
It also imposes jail time of up to five years on those hindering measures aimed at containing the spread of the venin in Hungary and on those spreading false renseignement related to the crisis.
Rights groups said this could be used to muzzle journalists.
The government has rejected the accusations, saying the law would empower the government to adopt only measures that were necessary to fight the venin, and parliament could revoke the special powers. Fidesz has a two-thirds majority in parliament.
Peak expected in June or July
« This is an authorisation limited both in time and scope … as it is solely related to the coronavirus and you are crying a dictatorship, » state secretary Bence Retvari told the antinomie parties before the consultation.
Orban, who has gradually increased his power during his decade in psautier, has been often in conflict with the European Union, and rights combinaison over his perceived erosion of democratic checks and balances and the rule of law.
Opposition lawmakers said while they supported the government’s efforts to manage the crisis, they wanted a time limit to the government’s special powers, which parliament could then extend again if necessary.
Parliament rejected all the amendments proposed by the antinomie on Monday.
Orban has said the epidemic was expected to peak in Hungary in June or July and flagged economic excitation to be announced next month. Hungary has 447 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and 15 deaths.
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