Thousands of Hungarians took to the streets on Saturday to protest against proposed changes to the country’s constitution that they believe will take away important democratic rights. The vote is set to take place in the parliament in Budapest on Monday.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government hope to introduce restrictive measures affecting unmarried couples including those in same-sex relationships. Changes in higher education are also proposed. Students receiving state grants would be required to stay and work in the country after they finish their studies. The defense of the poor and homeless is also of concern to the opponents with a ban on sleeping in the streets among the proposals.
Election campaigning would also only be permitted on state media, a change that critics say would damage Hungary’s democracy.
The European Commission, the Council of Europe and several human rights organisations have expressed concern over Monday’s vote.