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March 23, 2023

Row over statement concerning Hungarian officials’ messages

PSD claims that the statement was adopted by the Lower Chamber, while UDMR representatives state the contrary, namely that the statement did not garner the necessary number of votes and so does not exist.

Controversies erupted yesterday within the Lower Chamber over the adoption of a statement concerning the messages of some Hungarian officials after Ioan Oltean (PDL), the MP chairing the meeting, at first announced 142 votes “in favour,” 110 votes “against” and 25 abstentions.

Opposition MPs received the announcement with applauses and cheers while Ioan Oltean was closing the meeting. A few moments later the Democrat-Liberal reopened the meeting and announced that the statement was in fact turned down since it failed to garner the necessary number of votes (143 – editor’s note). “The statement is adopted by half plus one of the MPs present and there were 284 MPs in the room,” Oltean explained, being quoted by Mediafax.

The Social-Democrats claim the opposite, however. Aura Vasile, deputy leader of the group of Social-Democrat MPs within the Lower Chamber, claims that the statement concerning the messages issued by some Hungarian officials was adopted by the plenum meeting and the ruling coalition’s only solution is to challenge it within the Constitutional Court.

“According to the regulations and as Ioan Oltean announced before closing the meeting he chaired, the statement was adopted,” Vasile stated. She said that Oltean opened another meeting in which he announced that the statement was rejected, doing so without the Permanent Bureau’s agreement.

On the other hand, UDMR MP Lakatos Peter states that “some Opposition members’ strategy of creating a split within the ruling coalition by using the nationalist battering ram is wrong” and “it welds the coalition.”
In his turn, Attila Korodi, President of the Lower Chamber’s Foreign Policy Commission, opined that the statement is “a political instrument for the Opposition,” one that nevertheless did not go through the Lower Chamber. Although the statement was not adopted, UDMR representatives do not consider this a victory. “There is no victory, I believe that this whole story represents a loss irrespective of when and what we vote for, because the worst thing is to inflame certain things that only through exaggerated gestures could lead to far worse things in the future,” Attila Korodi stated.

Before the vote in the plenum meeting the members of the Lower Chamber’s Foreign Policy Commission adopted, with 12 votes in favour and none against, the text of the statement through which the Lower Chamber decries the use of March 15 for political ends and considers some of the Hungarian leaders’ statements unacceptable.

Thus, all Social-Liberal Union MPs as well as PDL MP Octavian Bot (who is from Transylvania) voted in favour of the statement. The ruling coalition MPs tried to challenge the vote but failed.

According to the adopted statement, “bearing in mind the excellent Romanian-Hungarian relations, the Lower Chamber decries the fact that there was an attempt to use the March 15 celebrations for political purposes and during public events that took place in Romania some Hungarian officials used a political rhetoric with nationalist emphasis that is foreign to the EU’s and the modern world’s ideals.”

The statement also points out that “the Lower Chamber considers that the statements that some Hungarian officials made on the issue of territorial autonomy based on ethnic criteria are unacceptable.

The Lower Chamber reaffirms that the relations between Romania and Hungary, two countries that were placed by Providence side by side and that are meant to collaborate on all levels and to be NATO and EU partners, should be governed by good neighborliness and cohabitation.”

At the same time, the statement points out that Romania militates in favour of equitable and pragmatic bilateral relations for the benefit of the two sides. Likewise, the statement points out that good neighborliness and mutual respect, as well as bilateral collaboration, corresponds to the two peoples’ interests and admits that national minorities are an integral part of the society of the state in which they live.

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