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Orban Seeks to Extend Emergency Rule in Hungary by Six Months

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government is seeking to extend emergency rule by six months, citing the war in neighboring Ukraine.

The legislation, filed on parliament’s website, would extend Orban’s ability to rule by decree beyond the end of the month. It’s expected to pass since Orban’s Fidesz party has more than a two-thirds majority in the chamber. 

Orban changed the constitution after his fourth consecutive election victory last year, allowing for rule-by-decree when there’s war in a neighboring country. But even before that, the nationalist leader had used emergency powers for years, citing the threat of immigration. 

His unprecedented power consolidation over the past decade has prompted the European Union to launch a rule-of-law probe and to suspend more than $30 billion of funding earmarked for Hungary.

Orban has passed hundreds of decrees just in the past year, including an overhaul of this year’s budget, normally the domain of parliament in democracies. Lawmakers belatedly agreed to the changes last week, three months after the original law was enacted.

Source: BNN Bloomberg