Democratic Coalition to boycott parliament

October 10, 2016

Former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány
Former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány

MPs representing left-wing opposition party Democratic Coalition (DK) have decided to boycott Parliament indefinitely, reports Index.hu. The decision was made during a meeting of the party’s presidium this past weekend.

DK has four MPs sitting in the National Assembly: former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, Ágnes Vadai, László Varjú and Lajos Oláh.

The boycott means they will not take part in plenary sessions of parliament nor in their respective committee assignments.

DK will boycott parliamentary votes except in cases where its four votes could potentially prevent ruling party Fidesz from conjuring a supermajority on issues requiring two-thirds support.

Hungary’s constitution, the Fundamental Law, dictates that the parliamentary mandate of an MP will be cancelled “if [the MP] does not take part in the work of the National Assembly for one year.”

Parliamentary rules also allow the Speaker of the National Assembly to fine absent MPs.

One source told Index.hu that the Democratic Coalition plans to circumvent these penalties by showing up for “insignificant” votes.

Gyurcsány reportedly convened DK’s presidium in response to the Népszabadság scandal. After a heated debate within the presidium, the party’s leader decided to move forward with a total boycott.

According to Index.hu, the Népszabadság affair was the straw that broke the camel’s back (following the government’s migrant referendum campaign and subsequent decision to modify the constitution despite the referendum being invalid).

DK plans to announce the boycott on Monday.

Gyurcsány (unsuccessfully) called for a total opposition boycott back in February

In February, following the National Election Office fiasco where a group of baldheaded goons prevented opposition politicians from initiating a referendum on Sunday store closures, Gyurcsány called on opposition MPs to boycott Parliament. The other parties rejected his call..