Parliament will hold a special session this coming Friday to hold a new vote on a recent law that sought to restrict political advertisements which the president sent back to the legislative body for reconsideration, the group leader of ruling Fidesz said.
János Áder returned the law to parliament last Thursday, saying that it did not establish a legal norm while it contained passages which were either controversial or could not be interpreted or implemented. He called on parliament to re-consider it in its entirety.
The vote on the political billboard act is likely to be the only item on the agenda in the special session, Lajos Kósa told a press conference on Monday.
He noted that stipulations of the law which required a two-thirds majority had failed in last Wednesday’s vote and only the ones that required an absolute majority had passed.
He expressed hope that the parliamentary parties would be able to reach a consensus and pass the law in its entirety. If the stipulations requiring a two-thirds majority fail to pass again, then the ones that passed last week would not have a chance of passing again, he said.
Kósa said that the opposition Socialists had convened a meeting of parliament’s five parties for Monday afternoon to discuss a their own bill aimed at ensuring a level playing field during election campaign periods. If the parties can sit down for talks on that proposal, then perhaps a two-thirds majority can be secured for the billboard law, he said.
Kósa said the Socialists’ proposal was topical because of opposition Jobbik‘s “billboard affair” which he said raised the suspicion of VAT and budget fraud.
Jobbik has maintained an anti-government billboard campaign with the backing of Lajos Simicska, a one-time friend of the prime minister’s and a former key figure of the Fidesz party. The construction magnate and media mogul has fallen out with Viktor Orbán and the Fidesz party.
Kósa said Jobbik’s billboard campaign had likely cost more than half a billion forints. He noted that Jobbik had said that it had taken out a loan for 150 million forints (EUR 487,000) for the campaign and that it costs them 25 million forints a month. He said it looked “absolutely certain” that Jobbik’s billboard campaign involved budget fraud, arguing that the party had been given advertising space at below market rates.
As we wrote, Fidesz doesn’t like the opposition billboards but last few years the Fidesz with the government budget spent billions of forints to inform the people about the Orbán’s political steps.