Hungarian opposition to file police complaint after MP attends vote with virus

The MP felt symptoms appear the following day, two days before the vote, but he dismissed them as a simple cold. [MTI / Péter Komka]

Hungarian opposition parties Párbeszéd (Dialogue) and Momentum have said they will file a police complaint against ruling Fidesz party lawmaker Zsolt Becsó after he attended a parliamentary session last week while infected with the coronavirus.

At that session on 27 April, Becsó voted in favour of the bills that put 70% of Hungarian higher education under the control of foundations, while the state gave away billions of euros worth of public property to organisations that critics say will likely be run by Fidesz allies.

Orbán has begun taking steps to preserve his power

With barely a year until what looks to be a tight election in Hungary, the government is shifting considerable amounts of public assets away from the state and into foundations. The goal could be to sustain Viktor Orbán’s “System of National Cooperation” (NER) should he lose the 2022 election. EURACTIV’s media partner Telex takes a closer look.

A few days earlier, on 24 April, Becsó posted on Facebook that he was sitting down on a terrace to celebrate the country marking 3.5 million vaccinations and the consequent opening of restaurant and bar terraces.

The MP felt symptoms appear the following day, two days before the vote, but he dismissed them as a simple cold.

Becsó denied that he knew he was positive for coronavirus while attending the plenary session, though he could no longer taste or smell on the day of the vote. He self-isolated and was tested the same day, receiving his positive status a day later, on 28 April.

“It seems that the two-thirds [majority] were so necessary for the plundering of state property that the 133 brave people endangered human lives”, said Momentum leader András Fekete-Győr, who is set to lead the liberal opposition party into the 2022 general elections.

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The leaders of six leading opposition parties of Hungary officially agreed on Sunday (21 December) to join forces in the 2022 parliamentary elections to defeat Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz, in power since 2010.

Fekete-Győr was referring to the tight super majority Fidesz needed for the passing of the foundations bill, which allegedly required MP Becsó’s presence.

According to Fekete-Győr, Becsó went into the legislative because in Fidesz they “know that they will fall in 2022, so they will try to transfer as much public money as soon as possible to their own Fidesz foundations.”

“This seems so important and urgent for [Prime Minister] Viktor Orbán, they are so afraid of their fall that not even Fidesz members who could infect their colleagues with a life-threatening virus could miss it,” he said.

The opposition parties have said they will report the incident to the police for violation of epidemiological and quarantine regulations.

[Edited by Josie Le Blond]

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