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Ruling Parties Submit Bill to ‘Prevent Opposition from Helping Criminals’

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.05.23.

“The opposition must be prevented from helping criminals”, Lőrinc Nacsa, parliamentary spokesman for the co-ruling Christian Democrats, said on Thursday after submitting an amendment dubbed “Lex Czeglédy”.

Under the proposal, sponsored by the Fidesz-Christian Democrat alliance, an election candidate would not have immunity in criminal proceedings if charges are pressed or the candidate is detained before they are officially registered as a candidate, Nacsa said.

Referring to the case of Csaba Czeglédy, a candidate of the leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) in the upcoming European parliamentary elections, Nacsa said it had been “unprecedented” by opposition members of the National Election Committee to refuse to remove Czeglédy’s immunity at the request of a law court which sought completion of proceedings under way.

Leaders of the opposition party “have sought to cover up for their lawyer” charged with large-scale tax fraud, Nacsa said, adding that “according to reports” some 6 billion forints (EUR 18.3m) “disappeared on Czeglédy’s watch”.

He accused the opposition of siding with a suspected criminal rather than with the judiciary, Nacsa insisted, calling it “unprecedented, shocking and unacceptable”.

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Criminal proceedings “such as those against Czeglédy” have “nothing to do with [the issue of] candidacy”, Nacsa said. He added that the amendment could be passed and take effect before the summer, after which “the opposition will not have an opportunity to abuse elections and immunity to help criminals avoid prosecution”.

In the featured photo: Lőrinc Nacsa. Photo by Attila Kovács/MTI