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Socialists accused of transborder vote hunting

January 18th, 2013

A pro-government columnist criticizes the Socialists for establishing institutional ties with the main Hungarian party in Romania. She suggests that the MSZP is motivated purely by the importance of transborder voters at the next Parliamentary elections.

MSZP leader Attila Mesterházy, speaking at the MSZP board meeting in Kolozsvár (Cluj), Romania apologized on behalf of the Socialists for voting against non-resident citizenship for ethnic Hungarians at the 2004 referendum. Mesterházy acknowledged that the Socialists in the past had not paid enough attention to ethnic Hungarians in the neighboring countries. On the sidelines of the meeting, the MSZP leader also signed an agreement with the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) on future cooperation.

In Magyar Nemzet, Csaba Lukács remarks that . The MSZP in the 2002 electoral campaign claimed that the Orbán government’s so-called Status Law, which set out to offer visa free travel, access to Hungarian education and temporary employment to ethnic Hungarians living in neighbouring countries would be disastrous. As the privileges were open to all Romanian citizens, in order to meet EU norms, the Socialists in 2001 warned of the social and financial consequences of an influx of 23 million Romanians into Hungary. In 2010, however, the Socialists supported the Fidesz government’s proposal to offer easy access to citizenship for ethnic Hungarians living in the neighbouring countries. Lukács believes that the Socialists have changed their minds regarding the diaspora on purely pragmatic grounds. By opening up to the transborder community through cooperation with the RMDSZ, the Socialists want to attract votes from non-resident Hungarian citizens in the 2014 election, Lukács contends.

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