Did Fidesz Have a Hand in Voting for Weber as Chair of EPP Group After All?
Péter Cseresnyés 2019.06.05.
Manfred Weber, the German politician of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, was re-elected as the head of the European People’s Party group on Wednesday.
Weber faced no opposing candidates and secured 156 out of 160 votes (the last four were invalid). Prior to the vote, Euronews wrote -referring to its EP source- that Fidesz MEPs would also support the German politician’s re-election.
As Fidesz’s stance is loosening in regards to the EPP, the government party has still been vocal about Weber being an unsuitable candidate and ‘having insulted Hungarian people multiple times,’ so they do not support him for the European Commission Presidency.
Earlier, Prime Minister Office chief Gergely Gulyás, in an interview to German conservative daily Die Welt, said he believed Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party was better off remaining a member of the European People’s Party. Later he made a firm statement concerning the lead candidacy of Manfred Weber, stating that the CSU politician “didn’t want our support and we will grant him this wish.”
The EPP group also re-elected current vice-chairs including MEP Esteban González Pons from Spain, and Esther de Lange from The Netherlands. If Weber moves on, Gonzales Pons and de Lange have long been considered as leading candidates to replace him at the top of the group, Politico states.
Considering that only 160 EPP MEPs (of the 179) took part in the Weber vote, it is yet unknown if Fidesz MEPs have actively helped Weber win the seat or they kept their distance and did not vote. However, it is certain that Fidesz MEPs did not vote against him.
In the featured photo: Manfred Weber and Viktor ORbán in Budapest last year. Photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI