Former President Árpád Göncz and the Constitutional Court bear “serious historical responsibility” for the failure of a law of justice to enter into force after Hungary’s transition to democracy in 1989-90, Deputy House Speaker Gergely Gulyás said on Tuesday.
Gulyás, of the ruling Fidesz party who also heads parliament’s legislation committee, told a conference organised by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Budapest that
submitting and passing the law would have been a must for restoring moral order at the time.
On November 4, 1991 parliament passed the Zétényi-Takács Act which declared that “the statute of limitations shall start again for the criminal offences committed between December 21, 1944 and May 2, 1990 … provided that the state’s failure to prosecute said offences was due to political reasons”. However, the law has never entered force.
Gulyás said a difference should be made between Göncz. who initiated a preliminary constitutional review of the bill, and the Constitutional Court itself because “the latter played an overall positive role in the process of democratic transition while the same cannot be said about Göncz.”
Head of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Hungarian office Frank Spengler told the event that the consequences of communist dictatorship are still noticeable and have not been overcome either in Germany or Hungary.
As we wrote before, thousands of mourners gathered in Budapest’s Óbudai cemeteryto attend the funeral of Árpád Göncz, Hungary’s first democratically elected president. After the funeral, PM Orbán said: “We paid tribute that is due him as the president of all of us, a president of the nation. We thank him for what he has done for the homeland and for us,” the prime minister said.