Hungary's president asks court to review central bank law

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Hungary’s president says legal amendments meant to shield the central bank and the state-owned postal services from scrutiny over the use of public funds are unconstitutional.

President Janos Ader said Tuesday in a statement that he had forwarded the legislation for review to the constitutional Court, which has 30 days to issue a ruling.

Ader noted, for example, that since the limits on requests for public information applied even to those already approved by the courts, they breached the constitutional principle of legal certainty.

The amendments approved last week by lawmakers were criticized by corruption watchdogs for weakening transparency and the democratic system of checks and balances, while investigative journalists said limits on access to public information would greatly hinder efforts to uncover suspicious deals and decisions involving state institutions.