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International Forum Discuss Hungary’s Orban Given Power to Rule By Decree With No End Date at the Political Forums; seems Hungary's democracy was already on the edge and the Prime Minister and his supporters pushed it off the cliff. ...

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Old 04-04-2020, 11:08 AM
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Default Hungary’s Orban Given Power to Rule By Decree With No End Date

seems Hungary's democracy was already on the edge and the Prime Minister and his supporters pushed it off the cliff. it's now a dictatorship.

Hungary’s Orban Given Power to Rule By Decree With No End Date
https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/03/31...h-no-end-date/

Citing the urgency of the coronavirus pandemic, Hungary’s prime minister has been given powers that could prove difficult to undo.
Citing the urgency of the coronavirus pandemic, Hungary’s parliament has approved a bill to allow Prime Minister Viktor Orban to rule by decree, effectively circumventing democratic institutions in a European Union member state. Notably, no elections can take place while the measures are in effect and the bill does not include an end date. Under Orban, Hungary has extended emergency measures before: It still operates under a state of emergency declared in 2015 at the onset of Europe’s refugee crisis.
The bill includes harsh penalties of up to five years in prison for spreading anything the government deems “fake news,” leading to fears over press freedom.
Once the result of the vote was clear, human rights activists across the world condemned the move. David Vig, Amnesty International’s Hungary director, said the move gives Orban’s government “carte blanche to restrict human rights.”
Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi went further, and called for Hungary’s removal from the European Union, “After what Orban has done today, the European Union must act and make him change his mind. Or, simply, expel Hungary from the Union,” he wrote on Twitter.
Coronavirus spreads autocracy. Coronavirus panic has led to the curtailment of civil liberties in open societies worldwide, as the freedom to assemble and to travel is reduced to stop the virus spreading. In Foreign Policy, Florian Bieber writes that although the coronavirus is temporary, the society it creates could be permanent, “The pandemic may well lead to a serious decline in democracy around the world. It is crucial that liberal democracies show self-restraint and vigilance.”
And in today’s episode of the Foreign Policy podcast Don’t Touch Your Face, Amy Mackinnon and James Palmer investigate whether the pandemic could cause strongmen in Eastern Europe to double down on authoritarianism.
.......
from the Atlantic magazine
The EU Watches as Hungary Kills Democracy
The bloc’s failure to curb the country’s democratic decline suggests that it may not have much power at all.

https://www.theatlantic.com/internat...ocracy/609313/

The coronavirus has proved a great boon to the world’s authoritarians. From the imposition of border closures to the utilization of mass digital surveillance, moves that may have once been classed as dangerous expansions of state power are now being lauded as necessary steps in the global effort to curb a pandemic. Extraordinary times, it has been collectively agreed, call for extraordinary measures.

But there is a line between using emergency powers and outright authoritarianism—one that Hungary has undoubtedly crossed. With this week’s passage of a law effectively removing any oversight and silencing any criticism of the Hungarian government, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán can now rule by decree for an indefinite period of time. That such an erosion of democracy could happen openly in the heart of Europe has caused an uproar, with many questioning what, if anything, the European Union can do to stop one of its own from undermining the very values that underpin the bloc.

So far, the answer has been, well, nothing. For while the EU has long been regarded (particularly by its detractors) as an entity that has become all too powerful—able to set rules that national parliaments must accept, implementing bloc-wide standards that must be adhered to—this pandemic is proving the exact opposite: that, in the face of a global crisis in which nation-states are leading the response, a multinational force such as the EU is largely powerless. As norms have been overturned to contain the coronavirus, the EU, which is built on, and gains strength from, promoting and upholding a rules-based order, has demonstrated itself incapable of keeping up.
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Hungary was hardly a beacon of democracy before this pandemic started. Since resuming the premiership a decade ago (his first stint was from 1998 to 2002), Orbán has overseen the steady dismantling of the country’s democratic institutions, eroding its press freedoms, undermining its education system, and limiting the power of its judiciary. As an open advocate of “illiberal democracy”—his country is the first and only EU member state to be considered just “partly free” by the think tank Freedom House—Orbán has never tried to sugarcoat his autocratic aims, and has justified them by invoking national sovereignty and national security.
In the outbreak of the coronavirus and the disease it spreads, COVID-19—which has infected more than 950,000 people worldwide, including at least 585 people in Hungary—Orbán has found an ideal pretext for his latest power grab. Under the new emergency legislation, his far-right Fidesz party can effectively govern unchallenged, bypassing both Parliament and existing laws. It also permits the government to hand out jail terms for those deemed to be spreading misinformation. Though other countries have imposed their own emergency measures to combat the crisis, Hungary’s are among the most far reaching—and the most permanent. Though the Hungarian government insists that these measures will last only as long as the crisis does, the duration is entirely up to Orbán. After all, the emergency powers can be lifted only with the support of two-thirds of Parliament (a majority that Orbán holds).
The Hungarian crisis probably couldn’t have come at a more difficult time for the EU, which, in addition to facing a huge public-health disaster, must now contend with one of its members taking advantage of the pandemic. So far, the bloc’s response has been relatively muted. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed concern about the situation in Hungary, telling reporters today that emergency measures must be proportionate to the pandemic and subject to scrutiny (a notable step up from her initial statement on the matter, in which she did not mention Hungary by name). A statement by 13 EU countries—not even a majority of the bloc’s member states—warned that such measures would risk undermining rule of law, democracy, and fundamental rights (though this statement also failed to mention Hungary specifically).....
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Old 04-04-2020, 11:36 AM
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Default Re: Hungary’s Orban Given Power to Rule By Decree With No End Date

I have a feeling this is something the government wanted all along, and is just using the current situation to implement it...Never letting a crisis go to waste...

Unfortunately, we've seen the same feelings right here in the US...

Dem Rep. Told Colleagues Coronavirus Bill Is ‘Tremendous Opportunity to Restructure Things to Fit Our Vision’

Gavin Newsom: We Will Use Pandemic to Usher In Progressive Era
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Old 04-04-2020, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Hungary’s Orban Given Power to Rule By Decree With No End Date

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Originally Posted by cnredd View Post
I have a feeling this is something the government wanted all along, and is just using the current situation to implement it...Never letting a crisis go to waste...

Unfortunately, we've seen the same feelings right here in the US...

Any thoughts of becoming a dictator here should be wisely and quickly discarded.
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