Budapest, May 19 (IANS) The Hungarian Parliament has again extended a state of emergency that allows the government to impose measures to stop the Covid spread.
The Parliament in Budapest voted on Tuesday to extend the state of emergency until the autumn. It creates a framework for the government to issue orders which would have to be approved by Parliament under normal circumstances, DPA reported.
The right-wing nationalist government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban justified the measure by saying that it would ensure that regulations that were already in force would not become invalid when the current state of emergency ends on May 22.
The opposition charged that the government is abusing the state of emergency created by the pandemic for regulations that have nothing to do with the fight against coronavirus.
A state of emergency was initially imposed for 15 days at the beginning of November. It has been extended twice since.
Critics say Orban has also abused emergency powers by letting corruption grow and abolishing university autonomy.
Infections are going down in Hungary. But its two-week incidence rate - the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants over the past 14 days - was recently the highest in the EU at 193.66 cases.
Some 5.7 million Hungarians out of a total population of just under ten million have been vaccinated so far, with 2.7 million of them having already had their second dose.
The Sputnik vaccine from Russia and China's Sinopharm vaccine, which are not approved by the EU, are also in use in Hungary.