The “Coronavirus Law” adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on March 30 did not only enable Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to govern by decree for an unlimited period of time, but also suspended elections and referendums. With the passing of the emergency law, the parliament had disempowered itself.
The delayed elections give the opposition a small but significant window of opportunity to make known the responsibilities of the office of president – to make often tricky decisions for the good of the nation. President Duda has already shown to be Kaczynski’s president, not the people’s president.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic has led to numerous legislative changes in countries around the world. However, some governments quickly recognized this as a unique opportunity for further concentration and consolidation of power.
In this year’s Nations in Transit by the Freedom House, Poland loses the status of a consolidated democracy. Other CEE countries also decline with their democracy score.
With the introduction of a travel ban for its own citizens, the Czech measures to contain the corona epidemic have so far been among the strictest in Europe. Two weeks ago, the Prague City Court overturned four measures taken by the Czech Ministry of Health that restricted the free movement of citizens and retailers. A number of lawyers believe that this ruling increases the chances of businessmen and entrepreneurs to claim compensation from the state….
Today is Wednesday, May 6, three days before the planned presidential election in Poland and it is still not known if and when they will be held.
The decision to remove an old statue of Soviet Marshall Koněv from a square in Prague has led to a chain of very unlikely international incidents, culminating in direct intimidation of political representatives of a member of both the EU and NATO.
Kaja Kallas, the chairman of the Estonian opposition Reform Party, said the composition of the scientific council, which is advising the government on the coronavirus crisis, could be expanded to include people of different professions not just medical professionals.
The current crisis has reminded us how interconnected the world is. Developments which seem to take place somewhere far away can rapidly have the impact on the whole world. Today it’s the virus. Tomorrow climate change.