Coronavirus – DK: Gov’t Trying to Discredit Opposition Instead of Focusing on Response to Epidemic
MTI-Hungary Today 2020.03.25.
The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) has accused the government of using Wednesday’s cabinet meeting to try to discredit the opposition parties rather than to focus on its response to the novel coronavirus epidemic.
In an online press conference, DK managing director Csaba Molnár branded the government’s statement that it would meet on Wednesday because the opposition had blocked the extension of the state of emergency in parliament on Monday as a “lie”.
Even if it wanted to, the opposition could not stop the government from declaring a state of emergency or extending it, Molnár said. The government’s right to declare a state of emergency is enshrined in the constitution, and only an absolute majority is needed in parliament to extend it, he said.
Molnár said the opposition’s concerns about the government’s actions were not about the state of emergency but its epidemic response bill. He insisted that the real aim of the government bill, requiring a two-thirds majority to pass, was to grant it “absolute powers until the end of time”.
He said that “instead of trying to discredit the opposition”, the government should use Wednesday’s meeting to focus on the shortage of protective equipment at hospitals, the reach of its economic measures and the fact that Hungary is the country “doing almost the least number of tests” for the coronavirus in Europe.