Hungary's parliament to vote on new constitution

BUDAPEST - Hungary's Fidesz will pass a

new constitution through parliament on Monday, despite a boycott
from opposition parties who say it lacks consensus and would
cement the ruling party's power beyond the end of its term.

Center-right Fidesz, which swept to power with a two-thirds

parliamentary majority in 2010, has overhauled the constitution
and says the new laws will complete the democratization process
started in 1989 when the communist regime collapsed.

Thousands of civilians protested on Friday against the new

constitution, which human rights and civil groups said would
weaken democratic checks and balances when it comes into force
on Jan. 1, 2012.
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