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Lawmakers vote to end govʼt emergency powers

Parliament voted on Tuesday to end the governmentʼs mandate to exercise extraordinary powers issued by lawmakers because of the coronavirus crisis and wind up a state of emergency declared on March 11, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Image by Mirko Kuzmanovic / Shutterstock.com

Provisions in the legislation requiring a two-thirds majority to pass were approved with a vote of 192 for, 0 against, and 0 abstentions. Provisions requiring a simple majority were passed with a vote of 191 for, 0 against, and 0 abstentions.

Parliament also approved separate legislation to keep some provisional measures taken during the state of emergency in force. Provisions in that legislation requiring a two-thirds majority to pass were approved with a vote of 135 for, 54 against and 3 abstentions. Provisions requiring a simple majority were passed with a vote of 132 for, 56 against, and 3 abstentions.

The law extends provisions affecting health insurance and family subsidies, as well as a measure making parking free of charge in public areas until July 1. It also keeps a moratorium on repayments of corporate and retail loans in force until the end of 2020.

Parliament had approved legislation giving the government extraordinary powers to enact measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus on March 30, allowing it to extend a state of emergency declared by decree that had expired days earlier.

The law allowed the government to "suspend the application of some legislation, diverge from legal provisions and take other extraordinary measures by decree in the interest of ensuring the security of life, health, person, property, and rights of citizens as well as the stability of the national economy".

After its adoption, the legislation drew criticism from opposition MPs as well as European Union politicians because it contained no sunset clause.