Dismantling democracy? Virus used as excuse to quell dissent

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — In ex-communist Eastern Europe and elsewhere, rulers are assuming more power while they introduce harsh measures they say are necessary to halt coronavirus spread. Since  a nationwide state of emergency was declared in Serbia, its president has suspended parliament, giving him widespread powers, including closing borders and introducing a 12-hour curfew. In Hungary, parliament has passed a law that allows the government to rule by decree for as long as a state of emergency is in force.  In Israel,  Benjamin Netanyahu’s caretaker government has passed emergency measures that  include the  postponement of his own corruption trial.