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President refuses to sign controversial laws

March 11th, 2016

A day after János Áder sent bills restricting public scrutiny both of foundations run by the National Bank and the postal services to the Constitutional Court for review, Heti Válasz worries about government policies which it believes could undermine the party’s own power base, while Magyar Nemzet urges the inner opposition within Fidesz to come forward.

In his Heti Válasz lead article, Gábor Borókai, speaks out on behalf of what he calls the preservation of a ‘civic Hungary’. Viktor Orbán’s government did an excellent job during the migrant crisis, he maintains, and when it consolidated the debilitating municipal debt it inherited from previous Socialist-led governments. He also praises the steady policy of interest rate cuts, which allowed the National Bank (MNB) to finance Hungary’s sovereign debt at a much lower cost than before. On the other hand, Borókai finds it unacceptable for the parliamentary majority to remove money channeled into the MNB’s foundations from public oversight.

(For the controversial bills now referred by the President of the Republic to the Constitutional Court for review, See BudaPost, March 4th).

The case is all about dissent from two high representatives of the state, Magyar Nemzet‘s editorial asserts. Both are old guard Fidesz party members: the Speaker of Parliament László Kövér, who delayed signing the bills as long as he could, György Pápay suggests, and President János Áder, who refused to sign them into law. Taken together, this represents a strong message to Fidesz, and reveals where the real checks and balances are now to be found in the current political system in Hungary, Namely, among right-wing politicians who are increasingly fed up with ‘what is going in the public sphere, both money-wise and referendum-wise’. The author urges them to come forward and let their voices be heard.

In an official communiqué, Fidesz expressed its respect for the President’s stance and said it would act in accordance with the ruling issued by the Constitutional Court. 

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