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Parliament approves changes to controversial media law

Government

In the future it will be the task of the president of the republic to appoint the head of Hungary’s media authority rather than the prime minister’s, and the head of the authority and Media Council will no longer be allowed to serve a second, nine-year term. In a vote on Monday, lawmakers approved the amendment — drawn up to reflect an agreement between Justice Minister Tibor Navracsics, the European Union and the Council of Europe — with 258 votes in favour, 41 against and 52 abstentions. The governing parties voted yes, radical nationalist party Jobbik no, while the Socialists abstained. Also included in the new amendment is the requirement that the prime minister should seek the opinion and proposals of media professionals and bodies on which to base his decision.

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