The Hungarian government intends to submit a bill to lift the current rule by decree on May 26, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s chief of staff said late Sunday.
Under an emergency law approved in late March as a response to the coronavirus crisis, Hungary’s government can rule by decree without a time limit. People who publicize what are viewed as untrue or distorted facts — and which could interfere with the protection of the public or could alarm or agitate a large number of people — face several years in jail.
«Our intension is that on May 26 we submit the draft legislation (to end the emergency rule) to the parliament,» Minister Gergely Gulyás told Hungarian television station HírTV, noting the bill would then be approved in June.
But Gulyás added that if the number of coronavirus cases «starts to radically increase,» the current order could continue beyond that time.
Hungary’s emergency measures have sparked criticism from the country’s opposition, international watchdogs and members of the European Parliament.
On Friday, Orbán said the Hungarian government could give up its ability to rule by decree at the end of May.