Orbán’s Fidesz Reportedly Planning Yet Another Amendment to Hungary’s Constitution
Gábor Sarnyai 2018.06.14.
“The current constitution was adopted seven years ago, to change it, we need an excellent team of lawyers, and precise preparatory work”, claimed Hungarian PM Viktor Orban a few days ago.
The reason that Orbán’s ruling Fidesz is in need of constitutional amendments is that its “Stop Soros” legislation package is, as it now stands, unconstitutional. In response, the party has decided to try to change the constitution.
Furthermore, Fidesz lawmakers also want to strengthen and emphasize certain portions of the constitution as it currently exists. This can be seen, for example, in recent suggests to enshrine anti-homelessness laws into the constitution (although this particular initiative seems to some to be unnecessary, as previous constitutional amendments have already establish municipalities’ right to restrict areas where “habitual living” is allowed.
And on Wednesday evening, another set of planned changes came to light. Socialist Party (MSZP) MP Tamás Haragozó released the text of the new supplement of the amendment. The biggest changes would be implemented in R article of the Constitution.
The change would be the following:
All institutions of the Hungarian State have a duty to protect the Hungarian cultural and Christian identity.
As critics have noted, is unclear exactly why Orbán’s Fidesz plans on inserting additional language about “Christianity” into the Hungarian constitution, when the preamble already – almost uniquely in the Western World – emphasizes the importance of Christianity in the Hungarian state.
In an opinion article published in pro-gov’t daily Magyar Idők, Ágoston Sámuel Mráz, the chief-analyst of the Nézőpont Intézet, argued that Orbán needs to strengthen the “Christian democratic” image of his government. Going further, Mráz argued that Orbán’s infamous 2014 comments about Hungary becoming an “illiberal democracy” have been “misunderstood” and “attacked” by Western newspapers and pundits. According to the analyst, then, this constitutional amendment is part of a larger “re-branding” of the Orbán government, in order to make it appear more palatable to Western observers.