Hungary to consider bill that would allow Orbán to rule by decree

Government says legislation is a necessary response to coronavirus but critics fear it is open to abuse

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Hungary’s parliament will this week consider an emergency bill that would give prime minister Viktor Orbán sweeping powers to rule by decree, without a clear cut-off date.

The bill seeks to extend the state of emergency declared earlier this month over coronavirus, and could also see people jailed for spreading information deemed to be fake news. The government has portrayed the move as a necessary response to the unprecedented challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, but critics immediately labelled the legislation as dangerously open-ended and vulnerable to abuse.

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