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Orbán: Mandatory military service will not be reinstated

Commenting on recent discussions about Hungaryʼs mandatory military service, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that this service will not be reinstated in Hungary, Hungarian news agency MTI reported today.

In response to a query by state-owned all-news channel M1, the prime minister said that the reintroduction of mandatory military service is not on the parliament’s agenda and it is not willing to readdress the issue, MTI reported.

According to House Speaker László Kövér, however, abolishing mandatory military service in Hungary was a “catastrophic mistake”, online daily index.hu reported on Saturday, citing the speakerʼs interview with local daily Új Néplap. Kövér reportedly said that due to terrorism and “illegal migration” it is possible that the service will be reinstated in the “not too distant future”.

In response to the channel’s question on whether there was a disagreement within the party on the issue, Orbán said there was no such disagreement, as he believes Kövér “was not speaking about this matter”.

Opposition parties, meanwhile, expressed their objection to the institution of mandatory military service, almost in unison in a series of press statements following the emergence of the topic.

Hungary’s far-right radical party Jobbik earlier proposed the establishment of a volunteer army, adding that abolishing mandatory military service was detrimental to Hungary’s self-defense.

Hungary does not need to reinstate compulsory recruitment, György Bakondi, chief security advisor to the Prime Minister, said on January 11, commenting on news that the Swedish Interior Minister was planning such measures.