May 3, 2018 / 2:00 PM / 6 months ago

Hungarian ruling party wants to amend constitution to ban settlement of migrants

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party wants to amend the constitution in order to ensure that the European Union cannot force the country to resettle migrants, the national news agency MTI reported on Thursday, citing the party’s parliamentary leader.

Hungary and some other ex-communist countries in eastern Europe strongly oppose the EU’s efforts to persuade member states to share the burden of taking in the mainly Muslim migrants seeking asylum in the bloc.

The constitutional amendment was submitted by Prime Minister Viktor Orban to parliament in 2016, but it failed to muster the required two-thirds majority after opposition party Jobbik blocked its passage.

But in an April 8 election Orban’s party won a third straight term with more than two thirds of seats, giving it the power to pass constitutional amendments.

The Fidesz lawmaker quoted by MTI, Mate Kocsis, also said the party wants parliament to discuss a “Stop Soros” bill, which would tighten rules on non-governmental organizations, including those of Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros.

Orban accuses Soros of trying to flood Hungary with Muslim migrants, a charge the U.S.-based philanthropist denies.

Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Gareth Jones

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