February 7th, 2011

Body set up for national consultation on new constitution

European parliamentary deputy of the governing Fidesz party Jozsef Szajer said on Friday that he had set up a body responsible for national consultations on drafting Hungary’s new constitution.

Szajer said he had been instructed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban to head the body.

Members will include chairman of the National Bank of Hungary supervisory board Zsigmond Jarai, Hungarian ambassador in London Janos Csak, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Jozsef Palinkas and former house speaker and independent lawmaker Katalin Szili, formerly a member of the opposition Socialists.

Szajer said he would like to have Fidesz parliamentary group leader Janos Lazar participate in the body’s work as an “external member.”

Szajer added that as a first step, a questionnaire would be sent out to Hungarian voters to gauge opinion on the new constitution.

Parliament is expected to approve a proposal on the principles of the new constitution in early March and the Justice Ministry will prepare the draft text on the basis of these principles, which will then be debated by parliament.

Social dialogue on the new constitution will be held at the same time as the parliamentary debates, and the new constitution is expected to be approved on April 25.

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