Fidesz to boycott Hungarian parliament’s special debate on immigration

As our readers will know, the government of Viktor Orbán quietly accepted the European Union’s migrant quota and provided refugee status to 1,294 people in 2017, despite all the apoplectic rhetoric and anti-migrant national consultations to the contrary. Jobbik, the Hungarian Socialist Party and the Politics Can Be Different party united to collect the requisite number of signatures within opposition ranks to force a parliamentary debate on the government’s under-the radar-decision to accept the migrant quota, despite fervent promises to the contrary. (The debate would have also allowed for a discussion on pensions and salaries in the civil service.) The parties managed to collect the required number of signatures in short order, opening the door for a televised debate that would, undoubtedly, have been bruising for Fidesz. As such, Mr. Orbán has resorted to his usual strategy in place since 2006: refuse to debate his opponents.

According to a report by ATV, the Fidesz faction will boycott the special debate, scheduled for Tuesday, which also means that the debate cannot proceed. According to parliamentary rules, the agenda must be accepted by a majority of MPs. Since Fidesz MPs will walk out prior to the motion on the agenda, the Speaker of the House must adjourn the session. Gergely Gulyás, the leader of the Fidesz faction in parliament, is expected to speak briefly prior to the approval of the agenda, after which all other Fidesz MPs will leave. While opposition members should be allowed to speak as well prior to the vote on the agenda, Fidesz’s action will eliminate the possibility of any debate in parliament.

Gergely Gulyás. Photo: MTI.

Last summer while in Budapest, I spoke with a Hungarian opposition politician and he mentioned to me the all-encompassing futility of being an opposition MP in Hungary. In any democracy, even in ones where the ruling party has a comfortable majority, there are opportunities for members of the opposition to propose legislation or spearhead parliamentary debates. No such possibility exists in Hungary. Opposition politicians in Hungary have no opportunity whatsoever to propose legislative change or to provide any meaningful legislative input. The most recent Fidesz decision to ensure that parliamentary debate on a topic that the ruling party has placed front and centre in the national discourse is shut down is one more example of the fruitlessness of even having a parliamentary opposition in Hungary’s System of National Cooperation.

Fidesz plans deportations

While Fidesz will not allow for parliamentary debate, it is introducing legislation in February that will potentually allow for the deportation of Hungarians from their homes. “STOP Soros” is the actual title of a proposed legislative package before parliament that would empower Hungarian authorities to deport Hungarian citizens deemed to be a “risk to Hungary national security” from certain regions of the country. According to the proposed bill, citizens who are deemed to have either assisted illegal immigrants or to have financially supported organizations that support illegal immigration, can be forcibly removed or banned from an 8 km wide zone running along the European Union’s external border. In practice, this refers to southern Hungary, 8 km from the Serbian border and 8 km from the border with Ukraine. No Hungarian government since the 1960’s has ever proposed legislation that would ban Hungarian citizens from approaching the nation’s borders.

The one thing that Viktor Orbán’s regime cannot take away is the same thing that Hungary’s postwar Soviet dictatorship could not eliminate either, namely grassroots parody and humour. An amateur singer, song-writer and satirist–József Pál–knows this better than most. Over the years, the pensioner has produced a handful of satirical songs about the Regime of National Cooperation, most recently one against the otherwise very serious and problematic “STOP Soros” proposal. Mr. Pál explained to journalists of the 444.hu site: “Music is only a hobby for me. By the way, you can tell that my singing is shit and that I record everything with a 1000 forint microphone from Tesco.”

Still, József Pál’s efforts have been noticed and appreciated by many. His songs are folksy, cute, clearly home-made and they poke fun at Fidesz propaganda without resorting to obscenities. We are including one example below.

8 Comments

  1. Adam, you should know better!!! Hungarian government officials always said that they will not accept migrants or illegal migrants. Refugees are a different category. Are you being paid by soros?????

    • Charming, now we have an example of how a Fidesz fan rationalizes Orban’s hypocrisy and his flip-flop. Marta–does it surprise you that the EU set Hungary’s quota at 1,300 and — lo and behold! — Hungary just so happened to find 1,300 people it deemed to be not Soros-migrants, but rather real refugees, thus exactly fulfilling the EU’s quota, against which it has raged? I see that you believe in the most remarkable coincidences! 🙂

    • Reality Check says:

      Actually what they have been doing is labeling everyone who tries to get in as illegal migrants. I am being paid by Soros.

  2. You may be incorrect in stating that Hungary accepted the quota, and I am glad they did not, because that would set a very dangerous precedent for the future. The quota actually applies to specific migrants singled out for distribution, while these migrants that Hungary took in most likely were not part of that. They were most likely a part of Hungary’s aim to try to at least partially appease the Marxist-globalist, ethno-cultural suicide cult that is in charge of the EU and many member states. Hopefully it will be enough. Hungary’s aim now has to be to survive and try to minimize the damages for as long as this perversion of a union will continue, and this was the right move in that direction hopefully. Leaving is not an option (EU would destroy Hungary economically if it would dare to), so there is no other choice but to wait it out. Opposition trying to hit Fidesz over this is political opportunism, especially given that if they would have been in power, they would have taken in the quota and a lot more, without the opposition that Hungary put up in the past years, which in my view shaped the EU’s entire migrant policy for the better for Hungary & the continet.

    • Reality Check says:

      Funny how an uber-captitalist, Soros, is in charge of the “Marxist-globalist, ethno-cultural suicide cult”.

      ” The quota actually applies to specific migrants singled out for distribution, while these migrants that Hungary took in most likely were not part of that.” This seems like shear nonsense. Care to provide a source. And is it more or less “most likely” – you are just making this up? Right?

  3. Does not the Parlament debates every single issues that comes before them, after the required advertisements, held public hearings, taken notices from the proponentes as well from the opononents of the legislative decission.
    After the appropriate commite approves, goes for debate on the floor before the entire body, so they can decide to vote on whatever the proposal, or the issue might be.
    Is it not in that fashion in Hungary ?
    I’d bee greatly surprised if not .
    That is the parlamentary process. Period.
    Just why would a group of legislators want to boycott the parlamentary process?
    They, or any member can vote “NO”, or even just vote “present”.

  4. Ms.MartaBurka;

    But first one has to understand what “migrants” and what “refugees” are. But there are 12 million war refugees from Syria alone. Then from Iraq, Afghanistan,Yemen, Somalia also the Rohymbies, etc,etc. Is Hungary ready to take in a 1/4 to 1/2 million ? By the UN figure there are 65 million refugees worldwide.

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