Orban is trying to kill democracy in Hungary

30/03/2020

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (C) walks near other representatives during a vote about the government's bill on the protection against the new coronavirus COVID-19 at the plenary session of the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest, Hungary on March 30, 2020. Zoltan MATHE / POOL / AFP

COVID-19 is not an excuse to kill democratic accountability, the Party of European Socialists said today as Viktor Orban secured sweeping new powers in Hungary.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Viktor Orban is a repeat offender when it comes to undermining democracy. Today he managed to secure what he has always dreamed of – sweeping powers and even less accountability.

“Orban has shown time and time again that he cannot be trusted. He has already attacked the media, universities, NGOs, the judiciary and workers, and now he’s taking aim at the country’s democratic foundations. A Fidesz government with extraordinary powers, which are not even time limited, is a democratic disaster waiting to happen.

“We stand in solidarity with MSZP and all the democrats in Hungary who are working against the pernicious government of Fidesz. Progressives have been very clear, Orban must not be allowed to undermine the Rule of Law. This was true before COVID-19 and it remains true today.”

Progressives have consistently called out attempts by Fidesz to weaken the Rule of Law, compromise the independence of the media, NGOs, and the judiciary, and quash academic freedom. We supported the triggering of article 7 of the EU Treaty against the Hungarian government, and we will continue to support efforts to bring Hungary back in line with European values and Rule of Law standards.