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Hungary: Former President Urges Successor to Veto

Published: March 11, 2013; 18:52 · (Vindobona)

Former President Lazlo Solyom warns his follower, President Janos Ader,in a dramatic speech of the end of checks and balances in Hungary’s political system.

Solyom regards a presidential veto to be the last option to prevent the two-thirds governing majority from overriding the Court at will. Even though Solyom was an outspoken conservative, the ruling Fidesz party sidelined him in 2010 nonetheless.

"Parliament's supreme legal standing was typical of the Communist one-party system in Hungary," he described in the daily Nepszabadsag. The former president of Hungary complains about the self-righteous comments the government made after it was critisized by foreign authorities and EU institutions. According to him, it is not acceptable that the Hungarian jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court, which has been growing organically in the last 22 years, should be annulled with just one scratch of the pen. Furthermore, he critisizes, that current legal rulings were circumnavigated and made invalid in their cores by the excessive acquisition of new passages.

The new constitution amendments also make room for restrictive new regulations in higher education, vagrancy, electoral law and family law, which was the main attention of Saturday's protests in the Budapest. European and US leaders have warned the governing Fidesz party may run in opposite to EU rules. Civil groups have planned a further protest on Monday evening to urge President Janos Ader to veto the alterations to the constitution.

Under these circumstances, Solyom adds, trying to appeal to Ader’s conscience, there was only one option and hope: the Veto of the current president.