A parliamentary welfare committee meeting convened to discuss protective measures against Hungary’s coronavirus epidemic lacked a quorum on Tuesday due to a no-show by ruling party representatives.
Lajos Korózs, the Socialist (MSZP) head of the committee, said at the start of the meeting that he had submitted an agenda proposal for the session last week.
Korózs read out a letter from Fidesz MP Gabriella Selmeczi, the deputy head of the committee, in which she asked for the meeting to be postponed until next week, citing other engagements for her party’s lawmakers.
Korózs said that after his refusal to delay the meeting, he received another letter from Fidesz MPs on Tuesday morning in which they confirmed that they would be absent from the session.
He said the session had been convened because “Hungarians need credible information about the status of the epidemic” beyond what was being covered in the media.
Korózs criticised the ruling parties for their insistence that the opposition was not supporting their measures against the epidemic.
“I don’t know what it was that prevented the representatives of the ruling parties from showing up to today’s committee meeting,” he said, noting that they had all been present for parliament’s plenary session on Tuesday morning. Korózs added that the ruling parties owed their voters an explanation for not showing up to the meeting.
The committee meeting was also attended by Cecília Müller, the chief medical officer, Ildikó Horváth, the state secretary in charge of health care, and Tibor Lakatos, head of the emergency centre set up by the operative board coordinating Hungary’s epidemic response.
Fidesz: committe head Korózs unnacceptable
Fidesz said in reaction that Hungary’s left-wing parties had been unhelpful in the handling of the epidemic “from the start”.
“The left refused to vote in favour of extending the state of emergency, they refused to vote for the epidemic response law, attacked Hungary abroad and produced a fake video to discredit the Hungarian health-care system,” Selmeczi and Christian Democrat MP Lőrinc Nacsa said in a statement.
They said it was “outrageous” that Korozs, who they said was “one of the main figures behind the video”, refused to apologise for it to this day, and still headed the welfare committee.
They vowed to continue boycotting the committee’s meetings “until there are consequences for the left-wing scandal”.
In the featured photo illustration: MSZP MP Lajos Korózs. Photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI