Budapest, February 12 (MTI) – Parliamentary Speaker Laszlo Kover has proposed new rules for the workings of parliament in the house rules committee on Thursday, parliament’s press chief said.
Under the proposal, parliament would approve the parliamentary schedule for a two-week period in advance, Zoltan Szilagyi told MTI.
Final votes would only be held in plenary sessions on Monday and Tuesday during the first week, whereas debates could be held on Wednesday and Thursday, too, he said.
In the second week there would only be a plenary session on Monday, dedicated to addresses and Q and A sessions, he said.
Under Kover’s proposal, neither the number of submissions included in the assembly’s agenda, nor the timeframe of debates and reviews would be reduced, Szilagyi said.
As the house rules committee failed to reach a consensus over Kover’s proposal, it will be put to a vote at this year’s first plenary session of parliament, on Feb. 16.
The parliamentary groups of allied ruling Fidesz and Christian Democrats supported the proposal, whereas opposition parties with parliamentary groups rejected the motion.
Gergely Gulyas, a lawmaker of Fidesz and deputy speaker of parliament, told MTI the new system “will allow parliament to work under a better planned and more predictable schedule,” without limiting the opposition’s powers to control government actions.
Tamas Harangozo, deputy group leader of the opposition Socialists, told MTI that the planned new system would curtail the opposition’s powers and fail to end “the hasty lawmaking practice” the Hungarian parliament had performed over the past years thanks to the two-thirds majority of the ruling parties.
Gergely Farkas, deputy group leader of radical nationalist Jobbik, said that under the new system parliamentary work would lose significance with every second Monday becoming “unimportant”.
Bernadett Szel, deputy group leader of LMP, also said that the new system would curtail the opposition’s powers further, and she stated concern over an empty assembly expected to be seen every second week.