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PÁRBESZÉD TURNS TO TOP COURT OVER GOVT REGULATION 'RESTRICTING RIGHT TO ASSEMBLY'

 

A board member of opposition Párbeszéd has turned to the Constitutional Court over a government regulation which the party says is restricting the right to assembly “using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse”. Speaking at an online press conference over the weekend, Gábor Erőss, also a deputy district mayor in Budapest, referred to a regulation introduced under the special legal order by the government last November which bans demonstrations. He said he had prepared the appeal he submitted to the top court on the basis of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee’s legal complaint over the government regulation banning any demonstration without allowing even the option of filing a request for permission to authorities. Erőss noted that Párbeszéd had sought to organise a demonstration in protest against the “privatisation” of universities, “government graft” and the “robbing of local governments of their funds”, among other issues. “The government has not allowed any kind of demonstration to be held since November, not even those at which social distancing and mask-wearing rules would have been observed,” he said. Erőss said that “the right to assembly is one of the most important fundamental constitutional rights which is guaranteed … even by the Basic Law adopted by two-thirds of MPs of [ruling] Fidesz”, adding that the party was asking the top court “to give people back the freedom of assembly”.