2012. április 20., péntek

Fidesz prevents formation of opposition parliamentary group with law change

Parliamentary majority changed the Law on Parliament this Monday leading to the opposition party DK not being able to form a parliamentary group.


- DK is headed by former PM Gyurcsany, long-standing adversary of current PM Orban. It split out of the opposition Socialist Party last autumn.

- Being member of a parliamentary group is of great importance in Hungarian Parliament as several rights and resources are unavailable to unattached MPs. According to calculations, DK looses with the decision some HUF 200m or EUR 600ths. Also they have materially less possibilities to partake in parliamentary discussions.

Law has foreseen traditionally that MPs exiting a parliamentary group shall remain non-attached for six months, after which they shall be free to join another parliamentary group or form a new one.

The half-year period ended this week for Gyurcsany and his fellows. However, parliamentary majority voted on Monday to change the Law on Parliament. The new rule says that only those parties may have a parliamentary group which themselves received the respective votes in general elections. This means that DK is not permitted to have a parliamentary group, and in fact the formation of any new parliamentary group is effectively disqualified.


However DK found a legal loophole by which they tried to forfeit the new law’s entering into force by a few days, thereby assuring the formation of their parliamentary group.

What DK did is they demanded a confirmatory referendum on the new law.

This kind of referendum had been removed from the Constitution when Fidesz rewrote it. Thus it is no longer possible to hold one. But Fidesz forgot to adjust lower-level laws accordingly and so MPs retained the right to ask for such a referendum, and parliament would need to vote upon such a request.

How did Fidesz react? After holding an emergency meeting involving several senior party officials, the Speaker of Parliament (delegated by Fidesz) decided ‘in his own capacity’ that DK’s proposal lacks constitutional merit and terminated it, even though he has no such rights.

So DK will not have a parliamentary group.


P.S. The amendment also changed the minimum number of MPs required to form a parliamentary group from 10 to 12.

DK have 10 MPs.

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