Hungary to vote on bill allowing Orbán to rule by decree
Published at: 2020-03-24 11:10 | Author: CIJEurope.com
The Hungarian government is asking parliament to extend the state of emergency to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. The bill would allow Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to rule by decree with no clear cut-off date and also calls for jailing of people who spread information considered to be “fake news.” Opposition parties have already said they would support extending the state of emergency but not indefinitely. An extension requires approval from two-thirds of parliament. A vote is expected to take place next week, but many critics have expressed concern, stating that the bill could lead to an abuse of power by the government. “A carte blanche mandate for the Hungarian government with no sunset clause is not the panacea to the emergency caused by the COVID-19 virus in Hungary. We need strong rule of law safeguards and proportional and necessary emergency measures, not unlimited government rule by decree that can last beyond the actual epidemic crisis,” the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, Eötvös Károly Institute, and Amnesty International said in a statement.
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