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Orbán Announces Wartime State of Emergency, Continuing Governance by Decree

Parliament passed the 10th amendment to Hungary’s constitution, the Fundamental Law, early in the afternoon, with President Katalin Novák signing it into law shortly afterwards. Following these steps, Viktor Orbán was able to announce that a wartime state of emergency would take effect at midnight tonight.

The Prime Minister said that, similar to the state of emergency introduced during the epidemic, it would allow the government to respond quickly to events. In such cases, the government may deviate from regulations enshrined in law, and may also restrict or outright suspend citizens’ rights more than what is generally considered acceptable, writes 444. Orbán will provide details about his first decisions on Wednesday.

The government voted just today to end the epidemic-related state of emergency, so it didn’t take long for another state of emergency to be declared. The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ) recalled the words of Minister Gergely Gulyás, who promised in 2020 that:

Although the left accuses us of wanting to make this special legal order last forever, it will end sooner than in most European countries.

The advocacy organization notes that with another special legal order and another amendment to the Fundamental Law, the government is once again changing the rules of the game to suit its own needs. At the same time, governance by decree further reduces the importance of Parliament. [444]

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