Budapest [Hungary], Mar 31 (ANI): Hungary's parliament on Monday voted to allow Prime Minister Viktor Orban to rule by decree indefinitely, in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill allows Orban to bypass a number of democratic institutions in his response to the outbreak, CNN reported.
The bill, which has been criticized by international human rights watchdogs, was approved in the parliament with 138 votes in favour and 53 against. The bill required a two-thirds majority to pass.
The suspension of parliament, punishments for journalists if the government believes their coronavirus reporting is not accurate, and heavier penalties for violating quarantine regulations are all made possible by the order.
Orban said on Hungarian national Kossuth radio last week: "We cannot react quickly if there are debates and lengthy legislative and lawmaking procedures. And in times of crisis and epidemic, the ability to respond rapidly can save lives.
"The Government is not asking for anything extraordinary," he added. "It is asking for the ability to rapidly enact certain measures. We don't want to enact measures that the Government has no general right to enact -- we simply want to do so swiftly."Hungary has recorded 15 virus-related deaths and 447 infections so far. (ANI)