Fidesz leader Viktor
Orbán would consider serving as president of Hungary as long as the post had
increased powers, István Stumpf, who served as head of the Prime Minister’s
Office during Orbán’s only period in power between 1998 and 2002 said.
Under the constitution,
the president of the republic has a largely ceremonial role, although the
office does also possess some limited powers such as the right to declare a
state of emergency. Most see the office as a non-political one.
Giving Orbán the powers
he allegedly wants as president would be a difficult undertaking as
constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority in parliament. The
necessary level of cross-party consensus is difficult to envisage in normal
circumstances in Hungary’s polarised political environment.
Recent opinion polls,
however, indicate that the idea of Orbán as president with souped-up powers is
not beyond the realms of possibility.
A Szonda-Ipsos poll
published in the left-of-centre daily Népszabadság at the end of last month put
support for Fidesz at 68%, enough to give the party the required number of MPs
to rewrite the constitution as it sees fit.