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Jun 17, 2020

Coronavirus Update: Parliament terminates state of emergency powers

Parliament has terminated the emergency powers handed to the government in March in response to the coronavirus epidemic.

 

Parliament has terminated the emergency powers handed to the government in March in response to the coronavirus epidemic.

The law submitted by Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, which required a two-thirds majority of lawmakers in attendance was approved with 192 votes in favor and no votes against. The date the emergency is lifted will be decided by the government.

Parliament also passed a law sponsored by Gulyás on temporary health measures related to the epidemic and the state of epidemiological preparedness with 135 for, 54 against and 3 abstentions. Under the law, the government may order a state of health emergency at the proposal of the chief medical officer. Such an emergency can be called if people’s lives are endangered or if the fitness of healthcare staff is compromised to an extent that demand for healthcare outstrips supply. It also applies if hospitals are burdened to the extent that the quality of care is seriously compromised.

The law defines six months as the maximum period it can be applied, though the government can order an extension. The law authorises armed Hungarian army personnel to carry out tasks related to health emergencies.