Péter Jakab on the “excessive power act”: We can’t allow Hungary to become a military dictatorship

Fidesz asked the opposition parties to vote for the legislation that became known as the “excessive power act”, in other words, to agree to extend the rule by decree indefinitely. This would mean that the cabinet could govern without the Parliament and without any time limitation, too. There’s an ongoing discourse among opposition supporters as to how each party relates to this idea. What is Jobbik’s position?

I don’t think any of us questions that the state of emergency needs to be extended so that the government’s procrastination can finally be replaced by quick decisions. So we will act as partners to allow the government to rule by decree for even 2-3 additional months. In fact, if this extraordinary situation so requires even after that time, we are ready to extend the government’s authorization further. However, nothing justifies giving Viktor Orbán a lifelong mandate. That’s what’s called a monarchy.

What arguments did they offer to explain their decision?

Fidesz must have misunderstood something: it’s the pandemic they need to eliminate, not democracy. You don’t need unlimited power for that. What you need is more efficient measures: the government should provide much more testing, screening and protective equipment, financial assistance for those in need and order a mandatory home quarantine if necessary. And we believe it is indeed important for prevention. If this requires Parliament to adopt resolutions every 2 or 3 months, I don’t see why we shouldn’t be able to do it. The government expects healthcare and law enforcement professionals to work to their limits each day, but the lawmakers shouldn’t get together for months to make a decision? Come on! And if the conditions for doing our jobs in the workplace are not given, Parliament could function online, too. Instead, Fidesz wants to rely on Viktor Orbán to decide how long to keep up the state of emergency, in other words, how long he could govern without Parliament. It would be all up to him; it could be 2 years or 4, whatever he wants. Then there would be neither Parliament, nor elections. The two-thirds majority is no longer enough, they want all. We can’t assist to that. We are ready to do anything for the Hungarian people but we refuse to be kingmakers. Even in ancient Rome, dictators were elected for a limited period of 6 months. It doesn’t seem to be enough for Viktor Orbán.

How would it affect the all-opposition cooperation if any opposition party disagrees with you in terms of the “excessive power act”?

So far the opposition has been united in this issue. We’ve just submitted a joint proposal to the government to convene a seven-party roundtable about the coronavirus act. This unity must be preserved.

What happens if the bill gets passed in Parliament?

Well, what kind of Hungary will we live in after that? In his recent Facebook post, Fidesz MP Gyula Budai slipped up and made it clear what we can expect: the return of the Communist dictatorship which, according to Mr Budai, wasn’t quite so bad.

 

Magyar Hang - Jobbik.com