Hungary’s parliament has voted to extend its state of emergency, originally due to expire today, to stop the spread of
Hungary’s parliament has voted to extend its state of emergency, originally due to expire today, to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The country’s second state of emergency began in November 2020 and has been extended twice. During each, Prime Minister Orban and the ruling Fidesz party have been accused of using expanded powers to consolidate control of the government. Under a state of emergency, Hungary’s Prime Minister and executive branch are allowed to rule by decree, here granting Orban nearly absolute power. The current state of emergency will be extended until September of this year.
Under Fidesz party rule, Hungary’s democracy has followed a global trend, sliding towards authoritarianism. While Corban controls the majority of media and state organs, some independent media and the court system remain unbiased.
For Hungary, cracking down on the freedom of press seems to be Orban’s primary objective. Back in March 2020, under the guise of state of emergency legislation, Orban took drastic measures to silence independent media. Under the extended state of emergency Orban may pursue additional legislation to this end. In the future, this sets a precedent for the Fidesz party to use states of emergency to claim near complete control of Hungary.
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