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January 24, 2022

Kelemen: Gov’t could demand confidence vote for minorities’ statute

The new UDMR leader said another top priority of his party is the law on development regions’ reorganisation.

Freshly elected head of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), Kelemen Hunor is already making controversial statements.

Kelemen says that if necessary, the national minorities’ statute, one of his party’s top priorities, can be passed by the government’s taking responsibility for the legislation in Parliament. “The minorities’ statute was developed and discussed in the Tariceanu government. That was a long debate, since 2005 all pros and cons have been mentioned. We made our own compromises and I think that at this moment, there are no more new arguments. If there is political will and a certain degree of consistency, then the project has to be passed by Parliament very quickly. If necessary, the government can take responsibility, but I think the National Liberal Party, if it was honest and fair in 2005, 2006 and 2007 – and I am convinced that it was, should be consistent with that behaviour. (…) But if there is no political will and no majority to have the project passed this year, we will have a problem. That is all I can say for the time being,” Kelemen said, quoted by Mediafax.

According to the Union leader, another priority of his party is the law on the reorganisation of development regions. “This serves the interests of all parties because in its current shape, this law is useless. [Current] regions are not functional, they cannot draw funds, areas that have nothing in common are part of the same region. I am not as optimistic as I am about the minorities’ statute, the debate in this field will be a lot more difficult,” he explained, adding that the main task of his term as UDMR leader is to rally the Hungarian community to come and vote. Kelemen admitted however that Hungarian community members’ voting trend is evolving the same as the Romanian society as a whole: turnout is getting gradually lower.

On the other hand, as member of the current government, where he serves as Culture Minister, Kelemen says 2010 was a very difficult one for governance. “We, as government, probably made a mistake: we did not prepare society for the measures we had to take. This, in my opinion, is our vulnerability in the coalition. The Hungarian community was just as surprised as the majority was. Now we have to go and explain to people why we took these measures. We must be credible in our explanations and give back hope that once we are out of the crisis, the country will offer long-lasting, predictable growth, not a big one like in 2005-2006, but there will be hope that we will gradually achieve welfare. If we can be credible, rallying voters will become easier,” the UDMR leader said.

In the context, he added that Union voters support participation in the governing coalition. More specifically, Kelemen said a survey ordered by UDMR, which was not yet made public, shows that almost three quarters of Hungarian voters believe the Union must remain in government in order to help the Hungarian community.

On the other hand, the executive president of UDMR Bihor, Szabo Odon, announced yesterday that between RON 150,000 and 200,000 were spent to organise the past weekend’s UDMR Congress in which Kelemen was elected leader. An official report about the expenses will be soon developed on central level, Szabo Odon added.

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