The Ripon Advance: Kinzinger condemns political move in Hungary during pandemic

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) on March 31 denounced recent political actions in Hungary that he said are depleting the freedoms of Hungarians.

Rep. Kinzinger and U.S. Rep. William Keating (D-MA) on Tuesday released a joint statement on the passage of emergency legislation by the Hungarian Parliament that would provide Prime Minister Viktor Orban unchecked authority, suspend the parliament and indefinitely delay upcoming elections, according to Rep. Kinzinger’s office.

“For years we have watched democracy in Hungary slowly slip away, and the recent implementation of these indefinite state of emergency measures further highlights many of our concerns,” the congressmen said. “Between the erosion of an independent judiciary branch and recent attacks on civil society and journalism, Prime Minister Orban has depleted the freedoms once enjoyed by the people of Hungary.”

The representatives said that the collective strength of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies rests on fundamental democratic freedoms.

“When we allow our closest NATO allies to drift from those core democratic principles, our own national security is put at stake,” said Rep. Kinzinger and his colleague. “As a NATO ally and member of the European Union, Prime Minister Orban has shied away from his duty to protect Hungary’s democratic values and strengthen their independent institutions.”

The members called the Hungarian Prime Minister’s actions during the COVID-19 pandemic an “indefinite power” grab that’s incompatible with democracy.

“We all have a role to play in defeating this global health crisis and we encourage Prime Minister Orban to take a more democratic and pragmatic approach moving forward,” they said. “The United States Congress will be watching the implementation of these authoritarian measures closely and we urge the government of Hungary to reaffirm its commitment to democratic values and demonstrate how they can uphold them in light of these troubling new developments.”

Rep. Kinzinger and Rep. Keating added that without corrective action, “we fear it will be incumbent upon the United States and our allies to begin serious discussions about how to best protect NATO’s shared values.”

 

The original article can be found on The Ripon Advance website here.