orbán hungary slovakia
Photo: MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Benko Vivien Cher

“Hungarian democracy is alive and well, and we’re succeeding in our fight against the novel coronavirus,” State Secretary Zoltán Kovács said in an op-ed published by The Washington Post on Saturday.

Kovács responded to an earlier article by George Will, who suggested that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was an “inspiration” for US conservatism shifting toward authoritarianism. Kovacs quoted Will as referring to the Hungarian PM as the “destroyer of Hungary’s democracy” who has “extended direct or indirect control over courts… and the media”.

Read alsoFreedom House: Hungary is no longer a democracy but a ‘hybrid regime’

“In our democracy, the press is indeed lively and critical, the courts are independent (see the Supreme Court decision just last month in a prominent Roma segregation case, a ruling that contradicted the government’s position), and opposition candidates still win elections,” Kovacs said.

“Voter turnout in Hungary’s 2018 parliamentary election topped 70 percent, the highest since 2002. That’s hardly an indicator of a destroyed democracy,” he said.

Kovács also quoted Will’s article as accusing Orbán of using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to build a dictatorship, and said that “the government called for a state of emergency entirely consistent with the provisions of our constitution, even giving parliament more say in the extraordinary measure, and the prime minister says it will come to an end June 20”.

PM Orbán
Read alsoCould the coronavirus outbreak undermine Hungarian democracy?

“Thanks to these extraordinary measures, our government was able to take swift action with restrictions on movement and support to our health-care system that helped us avoid the levels of infection and death tolls we see elsewhere in Europe,” Kovács said in his article.

Source: MTI

  1. Thank you Zoltán Kovács for ‘setting the record straight’ in “The Washington Post”.

    However, we Hungarians should NOT expect any apologies from Mr. Will or the numerous other recent critics of Hungary and its democracy : those individuals have slithered back – in a most cowardly fashion – from where they came.

  2. Elections…. ahhh yesss….
    In 2019 North Korea too had multiparty parliamentary elections, 99 % turnout. So, i guess Kovacs would say that democracy in NK is alive and well.

  3. The sheer STUPIDITY exhibited by Mario – who cannot even succeed as a cartoon character – is astounding.

    To compare the ‘electoral process’ in Hungary with that of North Korea demonstrates that this pathetic excuse for a ‘political commentator’ urgently requires a frontal lobotomy (preferably in Pyongyang).

  4. The Washington Post lies a lot. Sometimes they don’t report the news. Sometimes they “make” the news. But they lie all the time.

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