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Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, called opposition arguments to limit the duration of the state of emergency “sanctimonious”, saying the right to set such a timeframe was, according to the constitution, vested in the government. As a gesture to the opposition, the government has already transferred the right to declare the end of the emergency to parliament, he said. However, the end of this crisis was, at present, impossible to project, he said.
The opposition parties have argued that none of the European Union member states that have introduced a special legal order in response to the pandemic had done so indefinitely or without specifying the limits of their governments’ emergency powers.
Gulyás said ruling Fidesz had considered “countless” proposals put forward by the opposition, and incorporated many of them into the epidemic response bill, including a necessity and proportionality clause. He noted that no restrictions could be imposed on the sessions of parliament or the Constitutional Court during the state of emergency. In response to a question, Gulyás slammed opposition allegations that the bill would infringe on media freedom as “lies”, insisting that the bill did not touch on the issue of media freedom in any way. Gulyás called on the opposition to “consider, in the current situation, whether they want to engage in baseless scaremongering”. “Hard times call for cooperation,” Gulyás said, urging the parties to end their “pointless political disputes”.