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Covid emergency to be extended

April 23rd, 2021

A left-wing commentator accuses the government of intending to extend its special powers in order to make it hard for the opposition to campaign for next year’s parliamentary elections.

The government has tabled a bill to extend the state of public health emergency until late September, in view of the threat presented by the more contagious new mutations of the coronavirus. The opposition parties say they will vote against the bill, but the government side can muster the two thirds majority required to pass it.

In Népszava, Csaba Markotay accuses the government of duplicity in facing the pandemic. On the one hand, he points out, the authorities are starting to relax the coronavirus restrictions, opening kindergartens, elementary schools and catering terraces, while on the other hand, they plan to prolong the ‘state of health emergency’ that empowers them to restrict the exercise of political rights. Markotay suggests that the government’s real intention is to hinder the primaries the opposition will hold in the autumn to choose a Prime Ministerial candidate for next year’s election, as well as to keep the ban on mass demonstrations in force.

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