Orbán amends constitution, proclaims state of emergency

The Hungarian prime minister said there is a war going on in the neighbourhood, a war “that no one can see the end of”, putting the country’s physical, energy, and financial security at risk. [EPA-EFE/TIBOR ILLYES]

On the day the new government took office, the ruling Fidesz-controlled Hungarian parliament amended the constitution allowing Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán to proclaim a state of emergency on the same day.

On Tuesday (24 May), the Hungarian parliament approved amending Article 53 of the country’s constitution to include “armed conflict, war or humanitarian disaster in a neighbouring country” as circumstances in which the government is empowered to declare a state of emergency, Telex reported.

On the same day, within minutes after his new government took its oath, Orbán used the powers granted by the amendment to proclaim a state of emergency.

The Hungarian prime minister said there is a war going on in the neighbourhood, a war “that no one can see the end of”, putting the country’s physical, energy, and financial security at risk.

“We see that the war and the sanctions from Brussels have led to huge upheaval and a drastic rise in prices”, the prime minister added.

The executive previously justified the need for the amendment by stating the “war requires a government that is capable of action”.

The amendment of Hungary’s constitution, known as the “fundamental law,” is the 10th change since Fidesz first changed Hungary’s highest law in 2012.

A state of emergency, technically called a state of danger in the country’s legal system, allows the government to adopt decrees suspending the application of some laws.

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