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Parliament amends anti-corruption law

September 21st, 2017

A pro-government commentator believes that the new anti-corruption legislation will make it harder for the opposition to accuse the government of corruption. A left-wing commentator suggests that the stricter regulations are unlikely to reduce corruption.

On Tuesday, Parliament in a rare unanimous vote, passed the anti-corruption amendment submitted by Jobbik. The amendment increases the statute of limitations for corruption-related crimes from 5 to 12 years.

In Magyar HírlapDániel Kacsoh thinks that the new amendment renders pointless the anti-corruption referendum initiated by Gábor Vágó, former MP of the LMP party. Gábor Vágó with the help of left-wing opposition parties has started to collect signatures to call a referendum and increase the statute of limitation of corruption crimes to 12 years. The pro-government commentator accuses the Left of trying to use the anti-corruption allegations to mobilize people against the government and also to create a database of their potential voters. The government’s decision to amend the anti-corruption legislation in accordance with the proposal will completely undermine this strategy, Kacsoh contends.

Tibor Lengyel writing in Zoom.hu, a new left-wing liberal online media outlet finds it unlikely that the new legislation will help to battle corruption. Citing Miklós Ligeti, Director of Transparency Hungary, Lengyel notes that the main obstacle to investigating corruption has been the absence of political will rather than the elapse of the time available to prosecute such crimes. If the authorities are unwilling to go after corrupt politicians, the increased statute of limitations will not prove any more efficient in combatting corruption, Lengyel believes.

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