The government and parliament have “destabilised the foundations” of Hungary’s workings by reducing the constitution to a tool of daily political battles, ex-president Laszlo Solyom has said in an interview.
The method of “constant warfare”, which manifested itself in “surprise legislation and measures taken without due preparations and explanations” is bad for the country and has led to legal instability as well as a damaging environment for economic players, Solyom told Thursday’s Heti Valasz weekly.
“Achievements so far do not justify warfare methods,” he said. Neither do conditions in the country warrant such methods, the president from 2005 to 2010 added.
Solyom said some euro-zone countries had also applied unorthodox methods and made sacrifices, but had nevertheless refrained from “ruining the constitutional system”. The Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia managed the crisis while preserving their constitutional culture, he said.
At the same time that unfounded slander about “stealth fascism and dictatorship” should be rejected because this hampered objective criticism, he said, adding that the opposition had so far failed to “go beyond daily badgering”.
Asked what was wrong for the governing forces to make use of their two-thirds majority and rewrite the constitution, Solyom argued for restraint. “We use a knife and the fork even if the law does not forbid eating with fingers,” he said.
Government plans for mandatory voter registration would run contrary to the constitution and lead to a decline in voter turnout, he said. Such rules would “limit the general suffrage, which was an achievement of our historical constitution rather than a mistake of the waning West.” Solyom suggested that the government or Parliament should ask the Constitutional Court to examine in advance whether or nor the related law complied with the constitution.