The relevant bill was submitted yesterday late evening. The new deadline will be September, and the reason behind the move is that new variants of the virus are spreading in Europe and are present in Hungary, so an increased level of protection is crucial.
According to Magyar Narancs, the parliament accepted the prolongation of the state of emergency last November for 90 days. That allows the government to rule by decrees while the Hungarian parliament is still functioning. On February 22, the parliament prolonged the state of emergency again for 90 days, which will end on May 23. If that regulation came to effect, it would mean, for example, that local councils could continue their work in Hungary.
However, based on a bill submitted yesterday late evening, the government would like to
extend the state of emergency until the 15th day after the first sitting of the fall parliamentary season.
Based on the relevant laws, the season starts on September 1 and lasts until December 15. However, since the bill talks about the first sitting, we can say that the state of emergency in Hungary will not end until the end of September. That is because the speaker of the house, László Kövér (Fidesz), regularly calls the MPs together only after September 15, even though the season starts on the first day of the month.
Of course, the new bill allows the government to terminate the state of emergency before that deadline. However, Magyar Narancs says that such a decision is unlikely at the moment.
Based on the justification, the extension is needed because even though Hungary has the most effective inoculation program in Europe, the new variants of the virus are still spreading on the continent and are present in Hungary. Therefore,
an increased level of protection is necessary.
Deputy PM Zsolt Semjén, who submitted the bill, also writes that Hungary needs a quick and effective decision-making mechanism. And the previous year of the epidemic proved that allowing the government to rule by decrees was handy. Furthermore, he says that some government decrees accepted during the state of emergency will remain in effect even after it ends.
The parliament has to accept the bill, but the government parties have a 2/3rd majority, so there will be probably no problem in the procedure.