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RMDSZ’s plan to found a party in Hungary

July 3rd, 2012

Népszabadság believes the government’s innovative extension of voting rights to Hungarian citizens living in neighbouring countries may backfire

Fidesz has often been accused of favouring certain ethnic Hungarian parties in neighbouring countries with a sizable Hungarian minority. There has also been widespread concern among opponents of Fidesz that extending the suffrage beyond the borders serves the immediate interests of Fidesz by creating a loyal constituency. Following both the recent municipal elections in Romania, and the general elections in Slovakia, left-wing commentators noted that parties favoured by PM Viktor Orbán did not do well (see BudaPost, March 19th and June 13th). In June 2012, RMDSZ (Alliance of Hungarian Democrats in Romania) won most of the Hungarian vote in Transylvania.

Népszabadság devotes its entire front page to a tongue-in-cheek proposal by an RMDSZ politician at his party’s general assembly.  Ödön Szabó suggested that Hungarians living in neighbouring countries should form a new party in Hungary so that minority Hungarians will have someone to vote for. The left-wing daily’s somewhat gleeful front page editorial suggests that Orbán miscalculated the effects of his direct and indirect intervention in ethnic Hungarian politics in neighbouring countries. One example cited is the attempted reburial of József Nyirő, assisted by House speaker László Kövér (see Budapost, July 2nd and May 30th 2012).  Hungarian minority voters favoured parties that are on speaking terms with other Romanian or Slovakian political parties rather than parties “created abroad, who raise hopeless controversies.”  Ethnic Hungarian leaders antagonized by the attitude of the present government may end up forming a new Hungarian national party, only to prevent Orbán from winning re-election in 2014. The author of the editorial finds this development highly ironic, for he supposes that the governing majority offered easy citizenship and voting rights to ethnic Hungarians living in neighbouring countries in order to boost its own electoral base.

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