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Ethnic Hungarian vote helped elect Romania’s German president

November 18th, 2014

A conservative analyst argues that the election of an ethnic German and a Protestant as president of Romania is a great novelty for ethnic Hungarians who have often felt being considered by the majority as a secessionist threat.

On Mandiner, Szilárd Demeter calls the election of Klaus Johannis, a Transylvanian German politician a sort of a miracle, for only a few days before the second round of the presidential election, Socialist Prime Minister Victor Ponta was well ahead in the polls. Among the factors that helped Johannis win, Demeter mentions that in the Hungarian majority regions of Romania, the conservative candidate got 80 per cent of the vote. The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) is a member of Ponta’s governing coalition and rejected to back Mr Johannis, but did not openly support Ponta either, because the Socialist PM allied himself with the extremist nationalist Greater Romania Party. Meanwhile, Demeter remarks, the RMDSZ conducted a silent campaign in Mr Ponta’s favour. Nevertheless, Hungarians of Romania voted in larger numbers this Sunday than in the first round two week before, and made a substantial contribution to Mr Ponta’s defeat. The fact that Romania’s president is not Orthodox (but Protestant) and not an ethnic Romanian (but a German), might in itself improve mental conditions in Romania, the conservative analyst concludes. Paraphrasing John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s famous words in Berlin “Ich bin ein Berliner”, Demeter entitled his column “Ich bin ein Siebenbürger” – “I am a Transylvanian”.

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