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September 20, 2019

WikiLeaks: New Magyar party creation, ‘Basescu’s revenge on UDMR’

An April 2008 a US embassy cable obtained by WikiLeaks and published by ‘Kamikaze’ magazine detailed a meeting between American diplomats and a top member of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), Senator Eckstein-Kovacs Peter, in the context of upcoming local elections. Ecks­tein-Kovacs tried to explain to American officials that the newly-created Magyar Civic Party (PCM) would further split the Hungarian community and that it was unlikely for UDMR and PCM to reach a deal in order to run jointly in June 1 local elections.

“Asked about the relative strengths of the two parties, Eckstein guessed that the UDMR probably would receive around two-thirds of the ethnic Hungarian vote; the PCM would get the remaining third. Eckstein acknowledged that the emergence of the PCM had a radicalizing influence on both ethnic Hungarian parties, as both were now competing for the Magyar vote by stressing increased autonomy,” the cable said. In the context, Eckstein-Kovacs said that President Traian Basescu was PCM’s “godfather.” “Basescu had promoted the creation of a new party as revenge for the UDMR staying in alliance with the PNL in the Tariceanu government, and as a way to split to the ethnic Hungarian vote,” the cable underlined. The UDMR Senator also predicted that Basescu’s “divide-and-rule” strategy was creating a dynamic where parties were reluctant to ally themselves with his camp. Eckstein-Kovacs is currently Basescu’s adviser on national minorities’ issues.

Another cable, dated March 18, 2008, released by daily ‘Jurnalul National,’ made a detailed profile of newly-appointed Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu. Predoiu was an unexpected choice for the position and even more surprisingly, his nomination by then PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu was swiftly accepted by Basescu. The cable also mentioned that the US embassy knew Predoiu since he was a legal adviser to Cross Lander, which took over land vehicle manufacturer ARO, but the company ended up bankrupt after a dispute with privatisation authorities.

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