In a previous post, I speculated as to whether Hungary might be about to adopt semi-presidentialism. In the end, a new constitution has been drawn up. However, semi-presidentialism was not chosen.
Here is the text of the new constitution. It is a controversial document, but the government has a large enough majority to see it passed. There is a series of posts on some of the issues raised by the new constitution here.
First it was the Czech Republic, now it is Hungary’s turn to think about introducing semi-presidentialism.
In the April election Fidesz (Hungarian Civic Union) won 206 of the 265 seats in parliament. This gave it enough votes to change the constitution by itself. Since the election, there have been changes reducing the size of parliament and changing the structure of local government. Now, the party has decided that it wants to rewrite the constitution completely. Indeed, a six-person panel to advise the government on constitutional reform has been appointed. This is where semi-presidentialism may come in.
On the basis of a Lexis-Nexis search there is an indication that the Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, may favour a directly elected president. If so, this would transform Hungary into a semi-presidential system. That said, there are also reports that the Justice Minister has denied any such reform.
The bottom line is that change is afoot in Hungary and, therefore, I will keep an eye on developments.