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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban declared a state of emergency Tuesday, a move many critics fear will tighten his control of the European Union country, Bloomberg reported.
The declaration came shortly after Orban pushed through a constitutional amendment that allows his administration to rule by decree in instances when, for example, a neighboring state is at war.
The prime minister explained that the state of emergency was necessary because of the war in neighboring Ukraine, saying that such a move will allow him to use “all tools” of the state “to take action immediately.” He added that his government will announce the first measures Wednesday.
The state of emergency comes a month after Orban and his Fidesz party won the Hungarian parliamentary elections in a landslide victory. Orban’s party has dominated Hungarian politics since it first came to power in 2010.
The prime minister has clashed with the European Union on a number of issues, ranging from the rule of law, immigration and press freedoms. As a result, the bloc has moved to strip the EU nations of billions of euros in development funds if it fails to adhere to the union’s democratic values. The Hungarian leader remains defiant.
Following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Orban has expressed opposition to an EU ban on Russian oil. Meanwhile, the populist leader gave a speech to foreign right-wing celebrities last week at an event in Budapest, where he told participants to “play by their own rules” in order to consolidate power.