Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government pushed through a constitutional amendment that will effectively allow rule by decree if a neighbouring country is hit by armed conflict or a humanitarian catastrophe. The measure, backed in Parliament by the 136 members of Orban's right-wing nationalist Fidesz party, will allow a state of emergency to be called, on the basis of the war in Ukraine.
A health emergency currently in force to contain the coronavirus pandemic is due to expire at the end of this month.
The health emergency, imposed in the spring of 2020 and repeatedly renewed by Parliament, allows laws to be suspended and restrictive measures imposed by decree. Parliament has to approve the decrees within 15 days - something seen as a formality in the light of the large majority held by Fidesz. - dpa