The government wants to extend a law on its response to the second wave of the novel coronavirus, extending the state of emergency declared due to the pandemic. The vote will be held today and it requires the support of 80 percent of Parliament. As more and more opposition parties and MPs announce they will not vote for the initiative, it seems unlikely it will be prolonged now.
The bill would grant the government enhanced powers to handle the pandemic for a period of another 90 days. The last time, MPs approved the regulations with 180 votes in favor and one against in November.
But the vote would only be possible if Parliament approved deviating from the rules of procedure of the National Assembly, which requires a 4/5 majority. This means if opposition lawmakers do not support the initiative, it can only be passed with a constitutional majority during the normal schedule by mid-March the earliest.
As several opposition parties and some independent lawmakers already declared they would oppose the extension of the law, it is unlikely that Parliament will approve it.
Democratic Coalition is one of the first opposition parties that announced that it will not back the extension.
According to DK, “…in recent months we have seen exactly how the Orbán government used its full power: handing out hundreds of billions to their own oligarchs and accomplices while bleeding Hungarian local governments dry.”
The party slammed the government for not taking part in a recent debate initiated by opposition parties, and for withholding of information regarding the protection against coronavirus. Instead, the Constitution and the Electoral Law were amended, while government critical “Klubrádió was eliminated.”
Jobbik leader Péter Jakab also announced he would not approve the extension of the law. Similarly, independent lawmakers Bernadett Szél, Szabolcs Szabó, and Ákos Hadházy also refused to extend the govt’s “limitless power.”
Gov’t blasts opposition for rejecting proposal to fast track debate on extending special legal order
Csaba Dömötör, a state secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, has slammed Hungary’s left-wing opposition parties for their rejection of a proposal to fast track a parliamentary debate on extending the special legal order in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.
Dömötör said on Facebook that the ruling Fidesz and KDNP (Christian Democrats) parties would do everything in their power to put the extension of the special legal order to a vote as quickly as possible.
“It’s already clear that the left has returned to a form of politics whose essence is that the worse it is for the government and the country, the better it is for them,” he said.
This style of politics, Dömötör said, was “as irresponsible as it is insensitive”, arguing that swift decisions were key to saving lives and jobs.
The state secretary added that if it were up to the left-wing opposition, the government’s wage support scheme, the moratorium on loan repayments and epidemic response measures would all expire at the end of the month.
In the featured photo: opposition DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsány. Photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI