The parliament’s majority decided that opposition MP László Sebián-Petrovszki questioned the legitimacy of the government and the parliament itself.
The parliament has reduced László Sebián-Petrovszki’s salary, an MP of the left-liberal opposition party Democratic Coalition, by HUF 3,949,200 (approximately EUR 9,700) – the same amount as his twice-monthly honorarium – with 129 votes in favor, 50 against, and one abstention.
The opposition politician called the government “illegitimate” during a June session of the parliament. “(…) one thing is for sure: a legitimate government would not try any of them, only an illegitimate government that has its own interests at heart,” László Sebián-Petrovszki said, at the end of a speech.
According to the MP, his use of the phrase “illegitimate government” in itself “falls within the freedom of expression, so there should be no basis for any punishment to follow.”
According to the decision, questioning the legitimacy of the Hungarian government means questioning the legitimacy of the parliament, including the legitimate mandate of the MPs, as the government derives its mandate from the parliament, Hungarian news agency MTI reports. According to the constitution, members of the parliament are elected by a direct and secret ballot, based on universal and equal suffrage. Questioning these facts – the decision explains – is a blatant insult to the parliament’s authority and it is unacceptable that certain MPs question Hungary’s constitutional order baselessly, for the sake of political gain.
Featured photo via MTI/Máthé Zoltán