Fidesz parliamentary faction leader Antal Rogan would like to a see a long-standing tradition of Hungary’s parliament come to an end. The practice concerns the vote of the Speaker – the person responsible for acting as chairman of parliamentary sessions. Historically, the Speaker – or Acting Speaker – has a casting vote and only participates when a vote is tied. Rogan would like to do away with this. His reasoning is that by dropping the more than two decade old practice, parliament would help protect the rights of its leaders, making it possible for them to take part in all votes, both general and secret.
However, if his recommendation is accepted, it would further modify parliamentary rules that were already modified this year in February – which still included the rule that the Speaker can only vote in the event of a tie.
Rogan believes that the Speaker’s and Acting Speakers’ right and responsibility to participate in voting is equal to that of all parliamentary representatives, therefore there is no reason why their participation should be limited.
Other reasons why this is important for Rogan
Following Hungary’s 6 April parliamentary elections, the Fidesz-KDNP alliance obtained 133 of the 199 seats in parliament, giving it a two-thirds supermajority. But in order to vote on certain significant legislative changes – for example, modifications to the constitution – the parliament would need to secure a two-thirds vote, and under the traditional rule if the Speaker, Laszlo Kover (or any of the four Fidesz-KDNP Deputy Speakers), presides over the session he would not be allowed to vote. So instead of having the perfect two-thirds supermajority, Fidesz-KDNP would have only 132 votes – just one shy of the two-thirds needed to pass the significant legislation.
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