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'There is definitely a clause' to scrap state of emergency, says Hungary's Justice Minister

'There is definitely a clause' to scrap state of emergency, says Hungary's Justice Minister
Copyright Tamas Kovacs/MTVA - Media Service Support and Asset Management Fund
Copyright Tamas Kovacs/MTVA - Media Service Support and Asset Management Fund
By Sandor Zsiros
Published on
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The Hungarian emergency law would enable Prime Minister Viktor Orban to rule by decree. This happens in other countries, but critics say the Hungarian emergency law has no clear limitation in time - therefore a risk for the rule of law.

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In Europe many countries have applied some sort of emergency legislation to fight the COVID-19 epidemic, but only one of these laws has provoked international condemnation.

The Hungarian emergency law is the one under scrutiny as would enable Prime Minister Viktor Orban to rule by decree. This happens in other countries, but critics say the Hungarian emergency law has no clear limitation in time, and is therefore a risk for the rule of law.

"There is definitely a sunset clause," Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga told Euronews "It says that the Hungarian assembly will decide on the termination of this emergency situation...and by this act this law will cease to exist."

The Council of Europe, the European Commission, Reporters without Borders and the European Parliament think the law would endanger democracy in Hungary. A view echoed by some in the European Parliament.

"We believe that if we stick to our values, we confront this crisis better and give the best responses to our citizens. We do not believe that in emergency situations democracy should be suspended," European Parliament President, David Sassoli told our reporter.

Among the powers included in the new bill would be the ability to punish the spreading of fake news related to the epidemic with prison terms.

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