Human Rights Watch

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Hungary’s Orban Uses Pandemic to Seize Unlimited Power

Emergency Draft Law A Clear Threat to Democratic Freedoms

Wednesday 25 March 2020


Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has seized the COVID-19 pandemic to undermine fundamental principles of democracy and rule of law in a way that is hard to reconcile as necessary for public health. An emergency draft law will, if adopted, give Orban and the executive branch extraordinary powers to suspend certain laws and implement others by decree for as long as the emergency continues. The law would sidestep the parliamentary process and give Orban and his government the means to exercise arbitrary and unlimited power.

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