UDMR stays with the ruling coalition, Kelemen Hunor to step down from Cabinet

The Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) will stay in government, party leader Kelemen Hunor announced on Friday, at the end of UDMR’s Standing Council meeting in Cluj-Napoca (central-western Romania). “There were mixed opinions, but we ultimately reached this conclusion: being aware of this solution, of this compromise adopted by Premier Victor Ponta and myself after Wednesday’s discussions, the UDMR stays in government, in the governing coalition and I will step down from the office of culture minister and vice premier, since I cannot be in the Government and at the same time be part of the trial from the initiators,” the UDMR leader said, quoted by Agerpres.The UDMR leader pointed out that another meeting of the party’s leadership will take place this week and will decide who the presidential candidate is. “Next week, on Thursday, we will have another Standing Council meeting where we will take a decision regarding our candidate in the 2014 presidential elections. That’s all I can tell you, that we will have a candidate, at this moment that’s all I can announce,” Kelemen said. Sources that took part in the talks, quoted by Mediafax, claim that the UDMR leaders that met on Friday at the Permanent Council meeting expressed their support for Kelemen Hunor’s presidential candidacy. In fact, UDMR traditionally has had a presidential candidate and in the 2009 elections that candidate was Kelemen Hunor. On the other hand, Kelemen Hunor expressed his conviction that through the decision adopted on Friday by UDMR’s Standing Council, “what we proposed, apart from representing the Hungarian community’s interests within the ruling coalition, we can contribute to a necessary and absolutely important dialogue between the ethnic majority and the minorities in Romania and I am convinced we can find constructive solutions for every citizen.” The UDMR President thus pointed out that the Hungarians in Romania are not Romania’s enemies. “In the 21st Century you don’t have to fight the Magyars at any and every moment,” the UDMR President added.The Standing Council of the ethnic Hungarians’ party was called by the situation arisen after the Romanian Government via the Foreign Ministry backed the European Commission’s position on the Minority SafePack Civic Initiatives, according to which the European Union has no powers assigned under the provisions of the fundamental treaties and the minorities’ rights are regulated by national laws. Several UDMR leaders, Kelemen Hunor among them, challenged the rejection of the initiative for the protection of national minorities, while the Romanian Foreign Ministry voiced support for the Commission’s position; as a result, the UDMR leadership said the party might consider stepping down from government.The problem UDMR is facing right now can be solved through dialogue, Verestoy Attila saidBefore Kelemen Hunor’s announcement, UDMR Senator Verestoy Attila told RFI broadcaster that in his opinion UDMR should remain in government. Moreover, he stated that a possible resignation of the UDMR leader from the government does not necessarily mean that the party should leave too. The UDMR Senator appreciated that the problem UDMR is facing right now “can be solved through dialogue, while trying to reach a consensus and cooperate and also, if possible, by remaining in the ruling coalition.” Moreover, he rejected the position assumed by Foreign Affairs Minister Titus Corlatean regarding the citizens’ initiative dubbed ‘Minority SafePack’ in which the Union is co-signer: “Everybody seems to believe that we have some weapons hidden in our luggage for attacking the Romanian state. There is no such weapon. On the contrary, I believe that the Romanian state’s interests are not the ones that were mentioned by Mr Corlatean.” In this context, he pleaded for a debate in Parliament over the citizens’ initiative and said that, in his opinion, “an all or nothing type of approach in this matter is not the right approach.” “I believe that we cannot just ignore this problem by making a decision related to whether we should stay or leave the government,” the Senator pointed out.

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