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sobota, 27 novembra, 2021

Plans afloat to suspend rule of law in Hungary

By: V4 Agency

The campaign to suspend the rule of law by pledging to disregard the constitution is under way. Leading left-wing opposition parties are already talking about having to suspend the rule of law if they come to power, enabling them to amend laws requiring a two-thirds majority with a simple majority. This, however, does not seem to upset Brussels bureaucrats, who are regularly concerned about the rule of law in Hungary.

For more than a year now, the Hungarian left has repeatedly voiced its plan to suspend the rule of law in Hungary following a left-wing parliamentary election victory in 2022.

“After an opposition victory in 2022, we will most likely have to temporarily abandon the rule of law,” Zoltan Fleck, professor of sociology at Eotvos Lorand University said last summer.

Peter Jakab, contending for PM nomination in the left-coalition primaries and head of the Jobbik party – infamous for its anti-Semitic and racist scandals – bluntly stated, that “If we only have a simple majority, we will have to keep widdling away at the law until it becomes justice.”

The Hungarian left assumes that even if they manage to win next year’s parliamentary elections, they would only gain a simple majority and would, therefore, be unable to tamper with legislature requiring a two-thirds majority and would also be unable to amend Hungary’s Fundamental Law.

In order to overcome this obstacle, they want to suspend the rule of law.

Under current Hungarian law, a two-thirds majority is also required in order to establish an anti-corruption prosecutor’s office, which would operate independently of and alongside the prosecutor’s office. However, as the left has very little chance of winning a two-thirds majority in parliament, even with a joint list and preparing for joint governance, they would bypass the laws here.

The leader and prime ministerial candidate of the leftist Momentum party said he would set up an anti-graft prosecutor’s office “by a decision within the government’s competence,” that is, by a simple government decree.

However, this would curtail the constitutional powers of the parliament, turning the hierarchy of norms upside down, the Hungarian Mandiner newspaper wrote in a recent analysisBuda

It is therefore clear that if the Hungarian left comes to power, they will be ready to start governing by circumventing the law and suspending the rule of law.

However, Brussels’ professional worriers, who keep talking about the rule of law in Hungary, do not seem to be overly concerned. While the left openly talks about suspending the rule of law in order to achieve their political goals, Brussels remains silent.

The Hungarian 888.hu news portal has sent written inquiries to the two spokespersons of the European Commission in charge of the rule of law, as well as to VP Vera Jourova, asking whether the European Commission plans to launch an investigation into the leftist politicians’ statements. 888.hu also asked whether they think the statements made by the leftist politicians were against the rule of law and whether, in case the left came to power next year, the Commission would intervene if it saw that they launched unlawful, unconstitutional outbursts in Hungary.

V4NA has also sent a written inquiry to Ms Jourova, but we also sent out our written questions to the presidents of both the European Commission and the European Parliament, asking if they believe that the rule of law can indeed be suspended.

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