Government sessions still not public – HCLU’s opinion

A new draft law titled ‘governmental structure changes related law modifications’ was presented by the Government on 3 Nov, 2006.

The Parliamentary is urgently discussing the proposal meaning the public discussion is coming only after that. The draft mainly changes state institutions’ names in law texts.

At the same time there are also regulations in the draft concerning documentation of government sessions aiming to avoid breaching the Constitution as they were found by the Constitutional Court.

HCLU has expressed its concerns several times in the past couple of years regarding the possibility of classifying any related documentation to be state secret for fifty years.

In 1999 HCLU asked the MPs to vote against the draft that violates the constitutional security of the freedom of information. In 2002 after the governmental change, HCLU asked the previous Prime Minister Péter Medgyessy to put an end to the situation damaging the freedom of information. In 2004 HCLU called the attention of the present Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, emphasizing the similar position of the Constitutional Court and also of Data Protection Ombudsman.

HCLU finds it deplorable that present Government MPs who once raised objections against classifying government sessions while in opposition furthermore after gaining power, concretely declared making sessions open to public are currently doing the stark opposite. Moreover, in 2006 government politicians even pledged to outlaw the questionable ruling. All signs indicate that the government’s actions are not in line with the above mentioned actions.

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