Coronavirus kills its first democracy
On Monday, Hungary’s parliament passed a controversial bill that gave Orban sweeping emergency powers for an indefinite period of time. Parliament is closed, future elections were called off, existing laws can be suspended and the prime minister is now entitled to rule by decree. Opposition lawmakers had tried to set a time limit on the legislation but failed. Orban’s commanding two-thirds parliamentary majority made his new powers a fait accompli.
The measures were invoked as part of the government’s response to the global pandemic. Hungary had reported close to 450 cases as of Monday evening, and Orban has already cast the threat of the virus in politically convenient terms, labeling it a menace carried by unwelcome foreign migrants and yet more justification for his aggressive efforts to police the country’s borders. “Changing our lives is now unavoidable,” Orban told lawmakers last week when justifying the proposed bill. “Everyone has to leave their comfort zone. This law gives the government the power and means to defend Hungary.”
“I don’t know of another democracy where the government has …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]