A special session of parliament lacked quorum on Thursday because ruling party lawmakers stayed away from it.
The event had been initiated by parties of the opposition, which aimed to declare a December 12 vote on changes to the labour code invalid, as well as to discuss issues around an opposition protest at public media headquarters on December 16-17.
Péter Jakab, MP of conservative Jobbik, said that the message the ruling parties were conveying by staying away was that “they would make the people work to death while they themselves loath working”. He said that the “slave law” adopted on December 12 was invalid “not only because it was adopted unlawfully but also because the Hungarian people reject it”. Concerning the protests, Jakab said “it is only in dictatorships that armed guards are sent against opposition deputies”.
Tímea Szabó of the Párbeszéd party read out a declaration together with deputies of the Democratic Coalition and the Socialist Party, in which they pledged to “promote the demands of the Hungarian people in cooperation with all democratic opposition forces”. They demanded that the public media “should provide a public service rather than serve one party”. The MPs also demanded that parliament should ban “paid government propaganda” and annul the “slave law”.
Lászlo Lóránt Keresztes, co-leader of LMP, said that ruling Fidesz had “betrayed” the people through promoting the “slave law” and argued that the government “attracts multinational companies based on Hungary’s cheap labour”.
Following the abortive session, the opposition deputies stood on Parliament’s stairs outside and read out their declaration.
The Fidesz group reacted by saying that the opposition’s performance was nothing more than “theatre” or “political trouble making”. In a statement, they wrote that the opposition “organises violent protests from [George] Soros’s money” and insisted that the opposition’s actions are aimed at helping a “pro-migration majority” to power in the European Parliament in the upcoming EP elections.
featured image via Jobbik- Facebook