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Fidesz votes deemed crucial in electing von der Leyen

July 18th, 2019

In their first comments on the election of the new President of the European Commission, commentators on both sided of the political divide remark that Ursula von der Leyen would have lost Tuesday’s vote had she not been supported by the 13 Fidesz MEPs.

In Pesti Srácok’s Latte blog, the unnamed author who only discloses about herself that she is a woman, recalls the leftist brouhaha when Fidesz withdrew its support from Manfred Weber, the People’s Party’s top candidate for EC President. Left-wing commentators wrote that Fidesz votes would not have a serious impact in the 751 member strong European Parliament. The assembly, she writes, turned out to be politically fragmented enough to make even the 13 Fidesz votes important. Ms von der Leyen, in fact, won her post with a meagre majority of 9 votes.

On 24.hu, Zsolt Kerner calculates that at least one third of the Socialist MEPs abstained or voted against Ursula von der Leyen which made votes by the Italian League party and Fidesz indispensable for her to be elected. In a strange coalition, the left-wing commentator writes, Hungarian MEPs from all sides of the political spectrum are known to have voted for her, with the only exception of Jobbik’s Márton Gyöngyösi.  Her candidacy was supported by the Hungarian opposition MEPs because Ms von der Leyen’s views are diametrically opposed to PM Orbán’s, both on stronger European integration and on the rule of law. However, Kerner believes that the new President of the European Commission ‘looks like one Fidesz can make a deal with’.

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