Parliament on Tuesday approved amendments to the laws regulating its operation involving the introduction of stricter fines against MPs who violate house rules.
The amendment was approved with 135 votes in support and 54 against.
Two new disciplinary elements are included in the new law, one concerning those that blatantly disturb MPs’ speeches or the presiding chair’s activities. The other concerns cases when the progress of the session is disturbed or prevented and MPs or other officials are disturbed and prevented from exercising their rights and fulfilling their obligations.
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If an MP neglects the presiding chair’s repeated warnings, then the law will oblige him or her to leave the session immediately and failing to do so, more serious measures or expulsion may be applied. In cases involving physical violence or threats, the term of expulsion could range between 24 sittings or 60 calendar days.
The new law will also introduce increased fines against violators.
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Ruling Fidesz group leader Máté Kocsis earlier said that as a general rule, applicable fines will increase by 12-fold.
The amendment includes restrictions on MPs’ right to enter state offices. It will remain mandatory for state bodies to help lawmakers fulfil their duties but the lawmakers will be expected to indicate in advance that they request information from state bodies or public institutions, he added.
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Kocsis, who was one of the initiators, said that the amendment was prompted by recent cases of “unparalleled crudeness” and noted that the behaviour of some “wilder” opposition lawmakers had been unacceptable.
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Opposition Párbeszéd has announced that it would turn to the Constitutional Court to have the amendments to the laws and the house rules annulled.
The new regulations violate several paragraphs of the basic law and run foul of the principles of necessity and proportionality, party co-leader Tímea Szabó told a press conference.
They are merely aimed at intimidating opposition lawmakers and prevent them from criticising the government, she said.
In the featured photo: protesting MSZP (Socialists) and DK MPs leave the parliamentary session after the vote. Photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI