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January 17, 2022

Liberals slam Tokes’s nomination for EP vice president

No MEP of the National Liberal Party will vote in favour of ethnic Hungarian Laszlo Tokes for European Parliament vice president, given his “actions and statements” against Romania’s borders, PNL president Crin Antonescu said on Saturday. He warned that any Liberal MEP who votes in favour of Tokes will be expelled from the party and called on the ruling Democrat Liberals, who are part of the EPP group, and on President Traian Basescu to adopt the same stance.

Tokes, an independent MEP, received unanimous backing from the European Peoples’ Party group for an EP vice president position last week. Euro-Deputies of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania supported the nomination, while Social Democrats and Liberals unequivocally declared themselves against it. The Democrat Liberals, who are counting on UDMR support in the ruling coalition, have not yet made public whether they will support Tokes or not.

Antonescu underlined on Saturday that “PNL is the political party that had a decisive contribution to the creation of Greater Romania” as the liberal leader of the time, Ion I.C. Bratianu was the one who “negotiated and signed the Trianon Treaty and sanctioned the creation of Greater Romania, as a modern state, with unchallengeable borders and configuration.” “No PNL MEP could ever vote in favour of Mr. Tokes’s candidacy, given the activity, statements and actions he made over the years against Romania’s current borders, against current statehood and the historical consequences of the Trianon Treaty,” Antonescu added, quoted by Mediafax.

Calling on the PDL and Basescu to have a similar stance, the Liberal leader criticized the ruling party for accepting to make too many concessions for the UDMR in exchange for the ethnic Hungarian party’s support. Liberal vice president Mihai Voicu also urged Democrat Liberals to make public their vote for Tokes’s nomination inside the EPP group, warning that the MEP often made statements in violation of the country’s Constitution.

Nationalist Greater Romania Party leader Corneliu Vadim Tudor joined criticism of the nomination, saying on Saturday that he would defend the country’s interests at all costs and that he was ready to engage in ‘physical fights’ with all those who support Tokes for EP vice president.

Commenting on the nomination, PDL MEP Marian Jean Marinescu said on Friday that Romanian MEPs in the EPP were placed in a “situation without exit” when Hungary proposed Tokes for the position. “They (e.n. members of the Hungarian delegation) gave up a man in their own delegation to propose a member of another national delegation for the job,” Marinescu told Mediafax. He added that from his point of view, Tokes will not represent Romania, but Hungary on the job.

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