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Final session of Parliament to elect head of state, discuss resolution on Ukraine

picture of Hungarian parliament

Parliament is holding two sessions this Thursday, March 10, its last for this parliamentary cycle. Starting at 8:00am, the body will elect a new head of state in its first session, while Members of Parliament will discuss a resolution proposed by the political opposition on rejecting Russian aggression in Ukraine in the 8:00pm evening session.

In the morning, MPs will choose Hungary’s next president. Former Minister for Families Katalin Novák, nominated by Fidesz and KDNP, and Péter Róna, the candidate for the main opposition bloc, will each have 15 minutes to speak.

A candidate can win election in the first round of voting if they get at least 133 votes from the 199 MPs. This happens to be the exact number of MPs held by the two governing parties, although it remains unclear if Fidesz MP Pál Völner, the former state secretary currently under criminal investigation, will show up to vote.

If Völner does not appear to cast a vote, Novák may still get the necessary supermajority in the first round with help from Imre Ritter, the lone MP representating Hungary’s German nationality who typically votes with the government.

Another possibility is that former Jobbik representatives who are now independent MPs could also support the government’s candidate. The vote itself will be secret, so it will not be revealed who has voted for which candidate.

A final vote will also be held on a single law, which covers several various and unrelated topics that the Legislative Committee proposed 45 amendments to last week.

Another extraordinary session will then be convened at 8:00pm that evening, in which MPs will discuss a motion for a resolution condeming Russian aggression against Ukraine. Since it calls on the government to ban the Russian-backed International Investment Bank and end all nuclear-related cooperation wtih Russia, it is highly unlikely that the propoal will be adopted by the Fidesz-majority chamber.

This will be the 235th session of this parliamentary cycle, and its last, leaving all unfinished bills and proposals for the next Parliament following the April 3 elections.

[HVG]

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