President Schmitt signs new constitution – adds details

Budapest, April 25 (MTI) – President Pal Schmitt signed Hungary’s new constitution in a ceremony at his Sandor Palace office in Budapest on Easter Monday

“We have a new constitution that can be understood by all and it is at the same time Hungarian, national, modern and European,” Schmitt said after signing the supreme law.

“The freedom rights in the new supreme law are based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. This shows our dedication not only to our national self-identity but also to European democratic values,” the president. “The spring of 2011 has become an important event for the entire nation,” he added.

Schmitt expressed thanks to all those who participated in the preparation of the new supreme law.

He said that the constitution included “a summary of the main rules of coexistence in society, our rights and obligations and our nation’s faith, therefore it is a common matter for us all and represents a basis of our existence as a nation.”

People are most concerned whether the new basic law will effectively protect order, human dignity and the enforcement of rights, whether principles enshrined in it will consequently ensure jobs and safety for the family and whether they can plan their children’s future with optimism and can go about their own businesses in a public administration system and offices guided by good morals.

“In order to make sure that the answer is yes to all these questions, every individual’s work will be needed. Hungarians are equal not only before the law but also in defining the spirit of the law and executing it,” Schmitt said.

He added that the lives of Hungarians and of other nations living in Hungary are inseparable. “Everyone counts, we are strong together,” he added.

Hungary’s parliament approved the country’s new constitution on April 18, with 262 votes in favour, 44 against and one abstention.

The radical nationalist Jobbik voted against the supreme law while the Socialists and green party Politics Can Be Different boycotted the vote. Hungary’s new supreme law is to take effect on January 1, 2012. Celebrations marking the signing of the new constitution will take place throughout Hungary from 7pm on Monday.