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President Ader calls on lawmakers to represent national interests

Lawmakers take oaths in new parliament

Hungary's lawmakers took their oaths on Monday at the start of the new parliamentary cycle. The ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat alliance has 135 seats in parliament, the Democratic Coalition has 15 seats, while Jobbik, Momentum and the Socialists have 10 each. The radical Mi Hazank (Our Homeland) party, which passed the parliamentary threshold for the first time in 2022, has garnered six mandates, as did Parbeszed. The green LMP party has five seats. The German minority has one seat, and one lawmaker is expected to sit in the 199-member parliament as an independent.

The new parliament’s inaugural session was opened by President Janos Ader.

Journalists and guests were allowed into Parliament amid tight security measures.

Lawmakers of the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) and Momentum parties left the session immediately after the oath-taking ceremony.

Momentum said on Facebook ahead of the session that its lawmakers had taken an “alternative oath” to serve the “entire society rather than a small privileged elite.”

Akos Hadhazy, who has won a mandate as an independent, did not attend the ceremony, and is not yet entitled to exercise his rights as a lawmaker.

A body comprising the oldest and youngest members of parliament has found all mandates comply with regulations. Parliament then certified the mandates unanimously, with 196 votes in favour.

Mate Kocsis, the group leader of ruling Fidesz, reacting to the walk-out by DK and Momentum lawmakers, said parliament was their “workplace” and they must take their work as seriously as they would in any other workplace.

The work of a lawmaker is regulated by the Hungarian constitution and parliamentary law, Kocsis said on Facebook, adding that a lawmaker who disregards the law and only cares about being paid is unworthy of his or her parliamentary position.

President Ader calls on lawmakers to represent national interests

In his opening address, Ader called on lawmakers to “say yes to national interests, to the prosperity and security of Hungarians, to fact-based debates and joint successes, but say no to self-serving, myopic politics, serving foreign interests, and to discord and lies.”

Hungarian voters have expressed their opinion at the general election, which is “politically and legally indisputable”, Ader said. That decision grants legitimacy to the new parliament and government, and must be respected by all, he said.

Ader proposed that the parliament elect Viktor Orban as Hungary’s next prime minister. At talks last week, the president asked Orban to continue to work as Hungary’s prime minister, and the Fidesz leader accepted the nomination, he said.

Ader noted that the 2022 election has seen more observer missions visiting Hungary and, at the same time, fewer procedures seeking legal remedy, than any other election since 1990. The binding results of the election have never been announced as fast as this time, he said.

The president thanked everyone who participated in the election and helped the elections as vote counters. He also thanked those who assessed the appeals so that the new parliament could be formed as soon as possible.

Ader warned Hungary was facing “difficult years to come”, with the coronavirus pandemic lingering, albeit in a “milder form”. “The war in Ukraine also seems to drag out and an economic crisis is about to kick our door down,” he said.

The war is expected to keep prices high and possibly raise them further, Ader said. The new parliament will need “all its experience in crisis management” to steer Hungary amid those circumstances, he said.

“The voters’ mandate is clear… Success requires superhuman effort. But no matter the difficulties, the debates you have to stand your ground in, no matter the vile attacks you will be exposed to, never forget: the country before all,” Ader said.


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