POLITICS

Kelemen: UDMR has never betrayed its coalition partners

According to the Hungarian leader, the Union is on the right path as long as it stirred discontent in both the opposition’s and the ruling coalition’s camp.

The president of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), Kelemen Hunor, stated on Saturday, on the opening of the Union Representatives Council (CRU) meeting taking place in Sfantu Gheorghe that the Union would could continue to be guided by the interests of the Hungarian community. “Our leitmotif is the leitmotif of the Hungarian community in Romania,” Kelemen Hunor further stated, adding this had always been the main object of the party he represents, whichever its partners in the government had been.

The UDMR leader argued that the opposition had become upset with the Union’s representatives during negotiations for the Senate Speaker office. “UDMR has never betrayed its coalition partners, we are not traitors and it’s silly for someone to get upset with us because we won’t betray,” Kelemen argued, quoted by Mediafax. He added that some representatives of the Democratic-Liberal Party (PDL) “got angry with” UDMR as it had opposed the regionalization project in the form proposed by the Democrat-Liberals or the vote by mail. “Oddly enough, some people in PDL have also got angry with us lately as we did not agree to the regionalization project in the form they proposed, others because we did not accept the revising of the Constitution to reduce the number of MPs. I think that our refusal to back the vote by mail was also the right decision,” Kelemen Hunor explained, adding that, if both camps were disgruntled, this could only mean UDMR was on the right path.

Moving on to another topic, Kelemen announced that UDMR would wait patiently for the Minorities’ Statute to be adopted and would set no other deadlines to their partners in the coalition, as their only interest was a bill whose content could secure the backing of  the majority.

Last week, Democrat-Liberal MEP Cristian Preda argued on his blog that the main opposition to the revising of the Constitution came from UDMR, wondering whether the Union was still part of the coalition or whether PDL had in fact a minority government and UDMR ministers “should be sent back home”. In response, his party colleague, the deputy Raluca Turcan, argued UDMR should not leave the government, but “PDL should simply mobilize the people who can change the Union’s decisions”, pointing to Senate Speaker Vasile Blaga as one case in point.

On the other hand, UDMR MEP Iuliu Winkler stated on Saturday that the Romanian Constitution did not need revising in order to join the European Intergovernmental Treaty. Winkler qualified statements calling by all means for the urgent modification of the Constitution as “rash”, adding that an organic law would be enough to allow our joining the European Fiscal Agreement.

Never say never

While in Sfantu Gheorghe, the UDMR leader also had a message for the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) leader Victor Ponta, who had stated that his party no longer wished an alliance with UDMR. Thus, Kelemen reminded Ponta there had been situations “when someone once swore, his hand on the Bible, that he would never collaborate with UDMR”, warning it is “not wise to burn bridges in politics”. According to Kelemen, UDMR continues to believe that partnerships and political dialogue with the democratic parties are important both for Romania and for Romanian-Hungarian ties. Ponta had stated on Friday, during a press conference in Galati that the Social-Liberal Union (USL) no longer wished to form a government with UDMR, claiming that the target of the alliance was to secure 50 pc of the seats in the Legislative during next year’s elections. The PSD leader further argued that UDMR should switch to the opposition, as it “is tired” after so many years in power.

Priorities

The Union representatives adopted two resolutions during the CRU meeting, one concerning the Hungarian diaspora in Romania, the other, social measures. As regards the plan for the diaspora, UDMR aims at twinning towns and villages in the Szeklers’ Land with places abroad where Hungarian ethnics live. At the same time, the Union proposes setting up schools where Hungarian children can study in their mother tongue, as well as organizing cultural manifestations. The social strategy adopted by CRU members refers to promoting measures to boost the birth rate. Furthermore, according to Kelemen, one of UDMR’s legislative priorities for next year will be the accreditation of the Sapientia University.

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