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Lawyer: Drug test proposal not constitutional

Analysis

The government plan to conduct mandatory drug tests of politicians and journalists would violate some sections of the Hungarian Constitution, according to a lawyer who was asked to analyze the recently proposed legislation, which received key support from the prime minister.

“The proposal of introducing drug tests for politicians and journalists would violate the most fundamental right to life and human dignity outlined in the Hungarian constitution,” a lawyer requesting to remain anonymous told the Budapest Business Journal.

“On what basis is the government wishing to invade the private life of a politician or a journalist?” the lawyer asked. “Creating a regulation like this can generate crucial constitutional issues, and clash with fundamental Hungarian law.”

The bill was originally proposed by the mayor of Budapest’s District VIII, who wanted to also require drug testing for children between the age of 18 and 21. It was amended to remove children from the groups being required to take drug tests and then picked up the powerful support of the prime minister.

“The drug mafia is growing continuously and is threatening our entire society. It needs to be clarified who stands where,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was reported as saying on December 12. “Employees of public trust can expect to be subject to annual drug tests.”

“This is wrong point of view, I believe.” the lawyer interviewed by BBJ said. “Saying that those who are not with me are evidently against me makes no sense. There is no such correlation.”

The lawyer added that he is an advocate of fighting against war. “I do agree that the issue of drug abuse needs to be addressed but I believe there are other ways to overcome this problem,” he said, adding, that “For example placing a greater emphasis on drug prevention might be a better idea”.

What makes the whole issue worrying according to the lawyer, is that the government is picking on certain groups. “If they talk about the groups of politicians and journalists today, it might be a fair question to pose who is next? It is a very serious issue to pick on a social group/layer and enforce them to participate in such an invasive test. The test is normal for someone who is planning to work in public security. They know when they enter what they are in line for,” the lawyer concluded.

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