The overwhelming majority of Hungarians find the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic adequate, with most of them also saying that the government’s cabinet should remain invested with extraordinary power until the end of the outbreak, according to research from Hungarian think-tank Nézőpont Intézet.
In a poll conducted on a representative sample of 1,000 Hungarians, the Nézőpont Institute found that 90 percent of all Hungarians agreed that emergency rule must be maintained, with the ratio somewhat higher (94 percent) among pro-government responders, but still very high (80 percent) even among the supporters of the opposition.
The poll also showed that the Hungarian government currently had 74 percent approval from Hungarians.
Nézőpont Intézet’s research indicates that 58 percent of Hungarians believe emergency rule must remain in effect until the pandemic has run its course, while 39 percent said extraordinary powers should only be granted until June 30 and then only be extended at that time as necessary.
This second point was relevant because last Monday opposition parties blocked the government’s request for an indefinite state of emergency that would see Hungary’s parliament suspended.
But the opposition was only able to delay the decision to suspend an extension of the state of emergency. At that time, the measure required four-fifths of MPs to vote yes to pass the urgent vote, but the proposal is virtually certain to be approved under normal voting procedures today, with only two-thirds required this time around, which the ruling Fidesz party has.
The Hungarian government declared a state of emergency on March 11. According to the constitution, the cabinet can only do that for a period of 15 days, after which it must seek parliamentary approval for an extension.
According to the latest official count, the number of confirmed cases in Hungary rose from 334 on Friday to 447 on Monday, with 15 deaths and 34 cured so far.
Government officials warned that while the country is currently experiencing of group infections, citizens should brace themselves for a much higher rise in cases as the disease reaches the stage of mass infections.
Title image: In line with the community rules introduced by the Catholic Church, Vicar György Benyik holds a service in front of images of his congregation’s members in Szeged, southern Hungary. (MTI/Tibor Rosta)