Margit Feher and Gordon Fairclough
Wall Street Journal
March 11, 2013

Hungarian lawmakers on Monday passed amendments to the country’s constitution, despite warnings from the European Union and the U.S. that the measures could threaten the rule of law and weaken democratic checks and balances.

Parliament, controlled by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-leaning Fidesz alliance, approved the changes—including provisions that allow the court system’s top administrator and prosecutors to choose which judges hear legal cases—in a party-line vote.

The moves and flaring political tensions with Brussels and Washington combined with investor worries about the autonomy of the country’s central bank—where a close ally of Mr. Orban took the helm last week—to help send the Hungarian currency to its weakest level since early June.

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