Hungary’s president should veto the planned changes to the constitution, former president Laszlo Solyom said in an article sent to MTI on Monday.
Solyom said the president is faced with a decision in which he must weigh the meaning of his office and duties as president, “before the final door closes and an irreversible situation is cemented in opposition to the original constitution”.
“What is happening is not a constitutional amendment, but is tantamount to a surreptitious introduction of a new constitution with a whole new identity,” Solyom said in connection with the fourth amendment of the constitution tabled for a parliamentary vote later today.
Nearly all of the regulations intended for insertion into the Basic Law have been previously rendered unconstitutional and annulled by the constitutional court after careful scrutiny, Solyom, a former president and constitutional court chief justice, said.
Solyom said Fidesz, after securing a two-thirds majority at the elections in 2010, immediately started expanding its authority at the expense of the judicial powers and the constitutional court.
“[Fidesz] has been using the constitution to meet its daily political goals,” he said, adding there have been frequent amendments, often without meaningful debate.
By regularly writing laws axed by the constitutional court into the transitional laws annexed to the constitution, Fidesz has been second-guessing the constitutional court’s rulings, reserving the right to have the final say on constitutional issues, Solyom said.
The fourth amendment states that the top court in future can only review the Basic Law and its amendments on procedural grounds and the president can only seek the court’s opinion on procedural matters. This would give the two-thirds majority rule the right to pass any law, in the form of a constitutional amendment, even if it is in direct opposition to the constitution’s stipulations, he added.