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September 29, 2022

UDMR Chairman Kelemen Hunor: Romania, a model on how to gag minorities

Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) Chairman Kelemen Hunor stated on Thursday, for RFI, that Romania is a model on how to gag minorities, and a very balanced collaboration between UDMR and the PSD-ALDE coalition will be difficult to achieve after the Lower House rejected the bill that would have lowered the threshold for the use of national minorities’ maternal languages in public administration.

“It was a total refusal of any dialogue, coming from parliamentary political parties. (…) Of course, there were brutal interventions on the part of PNL, on the part of PMP, ultranationalist. To gag, to not event accept a discussion, means you have hidden things or intentions. (…) The majority does not want to have a dialogue with the minority, it wants to gag and to say that things are beautiful, are good, Romania is a model. It is a statement devoid of content. It is not a model. It is a model on how to gag minorities,” Kelemen Hunor stated for RFI.

Asked whether the Lower House’s vote on Wednesday broke the protocol between UDMR and the PSD-ALDE coalition, the UDMR President stated: “Broken in what sense? Common sense and the rule of dialogue was broken. The protocol does not say that this law must be voted by the ruling coalition, but of course a very balanced collaboration will be difficult up next, after all each side has some priorities. If my priorities are not backed by the so-called partners, then I too have to see which of their priorities I can back.”

On Wednesday, the Lower House rejected UDMR’s bill on lowering, from 20 to 10 percent, the demographic representation threshold for the use of national minorities’ maternal languages in public administration.

According to the rejected bill, in administrative units in which citizens belonging to national minorities represent more than 10 percent of the total population, local public authorities, public institutions subordinated to them, the providers of public services and public utility services of a local or county interest, as well as prefectures, decentralised public services belonging to ministries and to other central public administration bodies from territorial-administrative units, have the obligation to use the national minorities’ maternal languages in their rapports with them.


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