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February 1, 2023

Hunor’s electoral bet: “Showing Hungarian ethnics’ vision on the future of Romania”

Hunor Kelemen, running for President as the candidate of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) says that his purpose in the presidential elections in November is to show the vision of ethnic Hungarians on the future of Romania and to seek partners among Romanians in support of the autonomy project of the Szekler Land, Romania’s central region with a significant Hungarian minority, reports Agerpres.
Hunor Kelemen said in Sfantu Gheorghe on Wednesday evening that the reactions of the Romanian civil society and academic world were normal so far as regards the public debate launched by UDMR on the autonomy; he also noted some interest and opening to the aspirations of the Hungarian community.
“If we exclude clinical cases requiring psychiatric attention, I say the other reactions are normal for these times, especially as regards the reaction of the civil society and of the academic spheres. At least where I’ve been, in some debates, I can say there’s an interest, there’s an opening, an effort to understand what we are saying; it is also our responsibility to provide some explanations, because prejudices are not gone with the communism. The communist heritage lives both in us Hungarians and in Romanians, and if we fail to dismiss these prejudices, these stereotypes, then confidence, really necessary for a strong society, will not emerge. (…) I had some debates, some meetings – not with politicians, but with the civil society, with the academic spheres, with experts – and I can assert I perceive some attention and I don’t perceive hatred. I feel an opening, and this is extremely important. After all, 24 years have passed since the fall of communism, and people began to have a different experience and a different perspective after we joined the European Union,’ Hunor Kelemen declared.
UDMR’s head added that the Hungarian community representatives are responsible for explaining to Romanians that the autonomy does not harm the Romanian state or the interests of the majority, while it would provide constitutional guarantees for the preservation of the national identity of ethnic Hungarians. He added that autonomy is not possible without changing the Constitution and voiced his hope that the next Parliament resulting from the 2016 elections will have the strength to make these changes, allowing the modernization of Romania.
“Electoral campaign is atypical, stress is being laid on candidates, not on their projects”
Hunor also said on Wednesday that the ongoing campaign for the election of the Romanian president is ‘atypical’, since stress is being more laid on the candidates, not on their programmes and projects.
He added that ‘personal attacks’ have emerged that have nothing to do with the future of Romania or the future of its citizens.
‘It is a difficult campaign. One can see that a ten-year cycle ends in 2014 /…/, the Basescu era is ending and something new will begin and hence the interest and the fuss is a little bit higher in this campaign. There are many candidates and the people are interested in who will lead Romania for five years or probably ten years, because if a president does his job, then the chances that he might be re-elected are serious. That is why we can speak of an atypical campaign, if we think of what happened in the last years and unfortunately it is not an extremely clean campaign, meaning there emerge very many messages and much information that has nothing to do with the future of Romania and the future of the country’s citizens,’ Kelemen Hunor stressed.
The UDMR presidential contender explained he meant ‘personal attacks, we do not speak about projects, we do not speak of the candidate’s vision of Romania, but low blows or higher blows, anyway personal. /…/ I am a little bit more relaxed as I know my position in this competition, but I would prefer more debates on projects and on the vision of each contender than other approaches’.
Kelemen Hunor remarked that none of the presidential candidates proposed by the Romanian parties in the last 24 years has had a ‘substantial message’ for the ethnic Hungarians, probably for fear of losing votes, reports Agerpres.

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