The increasing radicalisation of the left is dangerous to the rule of law

The left is communicating in an increasingly extremist way not only to pro-government politicians but also to right-wing voters. Insulting the electorate and threatening their fellow Members and journalists who do not embrace the ideology of open societies have become a common modus operandi in left-wing circles. In recent months, they have increasingly professed faith in a constitutional coup attempt to be launched in the spring of 2022, which would trigger a domestic political crisis unprecedented for decades and ultimately a state of civil war. Zoltán Fleck, head of the staff of public law of the opposition’s candidate for prime minister, going beyond the rule of law, outlines anarchist methods in the case of a left-wing victory in the spring.

The increasing radicalisation of the left is dangerous to the rule of law

Even after the defeat in 2010, the opposition has not changed its policy aiming to divide Hungarians and serve Western political circles and big business. The left-liberal wing has been attacking the achievements of the civilian national government. Although their arguments could be initially interpreted within certain professional boundaries, with the start of the 2018 campaign, they embarked on a radical path that has led them to the point where their ideas about the country’s operation are unacceptable even through an extended interpretation within the rule of law they think much of – in terms.

An important milestone of the left-liberal wing’s extremist communication was when Ildikó Bangóné Borbély, Member of Parliament for MSZP, called millions of people rats on an ATV show in April 2019, just because they sympathised with the national side. The statements can be interpreted as the violation of human dignity, which, according to the Constitutional Court as well, is inalienable, and it also constitutes the actus reus of defamation laid down in the Criminal Code. In a post published last August, Ferenc Gyurcsány stated that “Vidnyánszky and others will remain as long as Orbán. Then they will fall. Moreover, they will be impoverished in every sense.”

The addressees of the threat made by the leader of the Demokratikus Koalíció are no longer the actors of political life but academic and artistic figures. In addition, confiscation of property is a criminal measure that can only be imposed in cases specified by law. During the first wave of the pandemic, Bendegúz Koppány Szarvas from Momentum went even further and threatened government entities involved in the control of the pandemic that they would hang from a lamppost. A similar rhetoric is pursued by the opposition’s joint candidate for prime minister, Péter Márki-Zay, who said in 2018: “I don’t want to say what lampposts can be used for, in addition to posters to be glued and placed thereon…” The politician, who is currently the mayor of Hódmezővásárhely, threatened not only members of the government but also pro-government voters during the 2018 campaign, when he said: “We’ll clear away the government even if it doesn’t happen by tomorrow night, let no one be calm among Fidesz.” In February 2021, tight in the middle of the pandemic, Péter Márki-Zay lamented on ATV that teachers and doctors’ radical strike actions “could force” the Orbán government “to its knees”. The most recent extreme remark of the left-wing candidate for prime minister was when he said that voters who support overhead cost cuts and oppose migration are like mushrooms kept in the dark and fed with manure. It is a kind of refraction on the left that in the latest ATV show, Egyenes Beszéd,

lawyers Dániel Karsai and Péter Kende refuted in detail Fleck’s plan, labelling as professionally unacceptable.

In addition to communication, a clear radicalisation process can also be observed in the Hungarian left’s conception of constitutionality and democracy. While at a meeting on 23 January 2013, the representatives of DK, Együtt 2014 Választói Mozgalom, MSZP, Magyarországi Szociáldemokrata Párt, Szabad Emberek Magyarországért – Liberális Párt and Szövetségben, Együtt Magyarországért Párt agreed on the need for the widest possible social, political and professional consultation in the field of the protection of both constitutional and fundamental rights and the judiciary, Zoltán Fleck, a sociologist of law, head of Péter Márki-Zay’s staff of public law, said in an interview on 29 November that they would not consult Fidesz on a new constitution in the event of an opposition victory.

Last year, the lecturer of Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Law, said that “after a possible victory of the opposition in 2022, we’ll have to give up temporarily the clear prevalence of the rule of law, but this was always the case at the time of regime changes, after great revolutions.”

The opposition’s radical plan to repeal the Fundamental Law by a simple majority if they win in the spring has been confirmed by many of their politicians. The head of the staff of public law of their candidate for prime minister explained this as “The next sentence is a humbug: the Fundamental Law is a constitution”.

The radicalisation of the opposition is a perfect example of the fact that while during the meeting on 23 January 2013 the President of the Constitutional Court was considered to be independent of the National Assembly and its operation free from political influence, Zoltán Fleck in the above-mentioned interview on 29 November said that in the first sitting of the new parliament the Constitutional Court judges would be removed, among others. Thus, the parliament would have a say in the composition of the body viewed as the main guardian of the constitution. In addition, members of the body of judicial robes would be removed exclusively on political grounds, which infringes the prohibition of discrimination.

Zoltán Fleck has had a long relationship with Ferenc Gyurcsány. On 15 March 2009, when he received the Free Press Award from György Földes, President of the Szabad Sajtó Alapítvány, Ferenc Gyurcsány personally congratulated him. The leader of DK wrote on his social media site that “We’ll do what our joint candidate asks for, because he’s the captain”. The joint candidate is Péter Márki-Zay and Zoltán Fleck is the leader of one of his staff. Since no opposition party or politician has distanced themselves from the statements of the sociologist of law, the presumption of the agreement by the entire left in the left-wing coup attempt previously outlined in several interviews is well-founded.

If the left came to power and prepared a constitution unlawfully, it would overwhelm not only Hungarian constitutionality but also the people’s faith in the rule of law. If a constitution was prepared and the country was governed by a simple majority, Hungary would face the biggest constitutional crisis since the regime change, and our constitutional continuity of more than thirty years would be interrupted by the preparation of such a fundamental document. Legal continuity was observed even between the period of World War II and the regime change, so these legislative attempts are reminiscent of the Bolshevik-type constitutional coup in 1919.

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