Hungarian opposition calls on president to block media law (Extra)
Dec 22, 2010, 16:27 GMT
Budapest - Hungary's Socialist opposition party on Wednesday called on President Pal Schmitt not to sign a tough new media control law and instead have the country's constitutional court review it.
Such a step could prevent the law, which has been criticised in Budapest and beyond as a censorship tool, from entering into force on January 1 as planned.
A simple constitutional court complaint would not prevent the law from coming into effect.
Schmitt, who took up his post in August, has so far been a loyal partner of the government, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban of the center-right Fidesz party.
The new law would place all television and radio broadcasters, print products and internet portals under the control of the NMHH media control body.
Critics also charge that it would allow high fines to be levied against private media outlets that violate the law's often vague guidelines, which could drive them into bankruptcy.
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