Hungary: Viktor Orban takes advantage of the coronavirus to gain full powers

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest on March 10, 2020. REUTERS / Bernadett Szabo

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Will Hungary become an authoritarian country? It is in any case the fear of many NGOs and associations because this Monday, March 30, the Parliament is preparing to pass a law which, on the grounds of fighting the coronavirus, grants the government led by Viktor Orban powers limitless.


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To fight the coronavirus epidemic, the government has decided to extend the state of emergency indefinitely established on March 11, which implies the possibility of legislating on all subjects by decree, the suspension of the electoral calendar and yet another major turn on press freedom.

The dissemination of "false information" on the virus is now punished with five years in prison in a country where the last and rare independent media already regularly receive this criticism of power.

On the part of NGOs, associations but also the Council of Europe and the High Commission for Human Rights at the United Nations, the warnings and questions have been numerous in recent days. Critics swept aside Friday by the Prime Minister during his weekly intervention on public radio. " I have made it clear to European whining and harassers that I do not have time to discuss legal issues, " said Viktor Orban.

This is not Hungary's first showdown with European institutions or civil society. For the past year, Vikor Orban's party has also been officially suspended from the European right, but Fidesz is still a member with the French of LR or the Germans of the CDU.

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  • Hungary
  • Coronavirus
  • Health and Medicine
  • Viktor Orban

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