As an introduction, it is important to point out that the left-liberal forces have been giving voice to their view that the rule of law and the prevalence of democratic principles in Hungary are being violated. In 2018, Ferenc Gyurcsány, among others, said that “an inhuman dictatorship reigns behind the democratic scenery,” while Gergely Arató, a member of the leadership of Demokratikus Koalíció, argued in a parliamentary sitting in 2019 that “the situation of the rule of law in Hungary remains dire”.
Hungary is freer and more democratic today than in the Gyurcsány era
In an interview with Euronews in October 2021, Péter Márki-Zay explained that in his view, “Fidesz hacked Hungarian democracy, derailed the rule of law in Hungary,” and then added that “of course, we do not consider the current situation to be the rule of law”. In the light of the opinion of the left-wing candidate for prime minister and similar statements made earlier by his allies related to the rule of law, Századvég surveyed whether Hungarians felt freer and considered Hungary to be more democratic when Ferenc Gyurcsány was in power, or they did and do so under Viktor Orbán’s governance.
The left regularly envisions the “deterioration” of the rule of law
In addition, leading left-wing politicians have repeatedly called for the “repeal” of the Fundamental Law by a simple majority in order to “restore” the rule of law.
As such, Klára Dobrev stated as early as the summer of 2021 that “whoever votes for us should vote for us so that if we get a simple majority, we will still dismantle the Orbán system”. Then in September, Márki-Zay also considered it necessary to “declare that the Fundamental Law is legally invalid”.
According to the majority of Hungarians, the left-wing governance by Gyurcsány was less democratic
Based on the survey conducted by Századvég, it can be stated that the opinion of the Hungarian electorate on having democracy and freedoms does not correspond with the statements made by the left elite. The survey shows that
that the majority of respondents (56 percent) believe that Hungary is freer and more democratic under Viktor Orbán and Fidesz-KDNP than it was under Ferenc Gyurcsány and the socialists,
while 31 percent have a different opinion.
Proposals by left-wing politicians and influencers to repeal and amend Hungary’s Fundamental Law and cardinal acts that require a two-third majority by simple majority in the National Assembly are not only in conflict with itemized legal provisions but are contrary to the fundamentals of Hungarian public law that crystallized after the change of regime.
As early as 1992, the Hungarian Constitutional Court set out that “the fundamental guarantees of the rule of law cannot be set aside on the grounds of the historical situation and the justice required by the rule of law,” and that “the rule of law cannot be established against the rule of law” (11/1992. (III.5.) Constitutional Court Decision). Ignoring the basic rules of the constitution and legislation would mean putting the requirement of legal certainty in brackets on the part of Péter Márki-Zay and his left-liberal colleagues, while legal certainty is one of the most important components of the rule of law. According to the interpretation of the Constitutional Court, the “indispensable element” of the rule of law is legal certainty, for which procedural guarantees are essential. The body emphasized that “a valid law can only be created by following the rules of a formalized procedure and legal institutions operate constitutionally only by complying with the procedural norms” (9/1992. (I.30.) Constitutional Court Decision). As a result, it is easy to see that
the amendments to the Fundamental Law and legislation called for by the left through procedural violations are incompatible with the concept of the rule of law.
CATI method, n=1000, among the politically active Hungarian adult population (politically active = who promise to vote for sure or probably vote), data collection: January 2022