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MSZP hesitant over anti-terror constitutional amendment

January 15th, 2016

An independent conservative pundit cautions the left-wing opposition against boycotting the parliamentary debate over the planned amendment, because it would amount to letting down their voters.

In Magyar Nemzet, Szabolcs Szerető believes that the idea of introducing a special state of emergency in the event of a terrorist threat is worth seriously discussing. He condemns  left-liberal opinion leaders who want their parties to boycott that debate. Fidesz lost its two thirds majority in Parliament last year and needs therefore some degree of opposition consent to put its amendment through. Szerető thinks a responsible opposition must weigh the pros and the cons and ask for guarantees against potential abuses of power. (The amendment would, among other things, authorise the executive to deploy the army and impose controls on social media if a terrorist threat is detected). Refusing to thus “legitimise” the Orbán regime is a mistake, for the regime is legitimised by its electoral majority, rather than by the opposition. The latter has the duty to represent its own voters and that can be done by not shrinking from the tedious travail of representing their own values and opinions with only a meagre hope of convincing their opponents. (A similar dilemma has arisen about the imminent election of four new judges to the Constitutional Court. The MSZP and Jobbik agreed to nominate one judge each and to help the two Fidesz candidates get the required two thirds majority. The Democratic Coalition, on the other hand, condemned such “collaboration” with the government.)


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