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Hungary’s Viktor Orban grabs power under COVID-19 threat

Hungary’s nationalist government prime minister, Viktor Orban, announced on Monday measures against the COVID-19 crisis. These measures raise the authorities of Orban to rule by decree for an undefined period and anyone who is spreading false information about coronavirus will be sentenced up to five years in prison.

Under this new situation, mayors can make a decision upon their local council, but they will submit the decision for government review, and this will take five days at most. To be noted, most of the mayors are from opposition parties.

Furthermore, Hungary, until April 2 had 525 confirmed cases with 20 deaths. On April 1, they announced 4 deaths, the highest number in one day. It is important to realize that Orban’s government was known for the right-wing culture and European Union as of now observes the news without taking any action. Although, 13 EU members announced that they will not support such actions and it is essential that the measures against COVID-19 will be temporary and abide by the international law. Among the 13 countries are Germany, Finland, Greece, and Italy.

There is a contradiction about Orban’s intentions if the state of emergency concerning the protection of the country against COVID-19 or it is an opportunity to grab power and strip rights from mayors. In a sense, Orban will govern by decree without any restriction from the Parliament due to the state of emergency.

Under these circumstances, fear is rising among Europe and many believe that Orban must be in an EU council “quarantine” and must not be allowed to take part in EU meetings. If the fight against coronavirus deserves a state of emergency, thus the fear of totalitarian regimes is back on the surface. 

Massive lockdown is against our freedom, but for a good general cause. Is this cause an excuse for some people to grab power and become sovereign, though?

Notably, because of the economic crisis over the past years, many European countries watched the percentage of right-wing parties increasing. In this state of exception, many of these parties will seek to establish their power or to gain more. 

COVID-19 is a threat against humanity, but it will be used to be a threat to our freedom rights also? The cases in Kenya, India, and the Philippines, where people will be subjected to “torture” or are to be killed if they do not obey the rules of quarantine is the situations that will have to deal after the COVID-19 threat will be over.

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