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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban declared a wartime state of emergency immediately after his new government was installed

The state of emergency, a new tool Parliament approved earlier on Tuesday, will take effect at midnight and will give the government “maneuvering room and the ability to react immediately” to the fallout from the war in neighboring Ukraine, Orban said in a video message on his Facebook page. 

The government will announce its first measures under the emergency on Wednesday, he said.

RT – Prime Minister Viktor Orban cites the conflict in Ukraine to invoke extraordinary powers

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, citing the conflict in Ukraine, just hours after parliament approved the measure as a way for Budapest to respond to crisis situations.

Orban announced the emergency in a video address on his Facebook page. The prime minister said the measures will give his government “room for maneuver and the ability to react immediately” to the fallout from the Ukraine conflict. The emergency regime takes effect at midnight, and the first measures will be revealed on Wednesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Hungarian parliament passed an amendment giving the prime minister the authority to declare an emergency if there is a war in a neighboring state. Orban’s critics claim this allows him to “rule by decree” and bypass parliament.

Similar criticism was levied against Orban in March 2020, when the parliament granted him sweeping emergency powers to deal with the Covid-19. He insisted the emergency would be limited in duration, and it was eventually revoked in June that year.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán held talks with Charles Michel, president of the European Council, in a videoconference in preparation for an extraordinary European Union summit set for May 30-31, on Monday. According to information from Orban’s press office, the talks touched on impacts of the Ukraine war on Europe, with special regard to military concerns, as well as security of energy and food supplies.

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