Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, on Sunday urged ethnic Hungarians living in Romania to vote in the country’s general election next week.
Addressing a joint press conference with Botond Csoma, an MP candidate of Romania’s ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party, in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca), Gulyás emphasised the importance of securing the strongest possible representation for the ethnic Hungarian community in the Romanian parliament.
“If RMDSZ will have many parliamentary seats it will be able to represent the interests of the Hungarian national minority in the issues that concern them,” Gulyás said.
“That’s why it’s important to have a high turnout and that every Hungarian considers this election their own.”
Gulyás noted that the Hungarian community fell short of a second parliamentary seat by just over 100 votes four years ago. “This example illustrates just how much every vote counts,” he said.
Gulyás said it was up to Transylvania’s Hungarian community to make decisions for itself, which the Hungarian government would then support. He said RMDSZ had a clear vision for the next four years as well as the ability to represent the interests of the Hungarian community.
In response to a question, Gulyás said the reason why the Hungarian government wanted RMDSZ to be a part of the next Romanian government was because this would be beneficial to Transylvania’s Hungarian community.
Concerning Romania’s declaration of June 4, the day the Trianon Peace Treaty was signed, as a national holiday, the PM’s chief of staff said Hungary’s interests lay in having strong and successful neighbours. Gulyás said only “weak countries” declared anniversaries that are painful to a section of their citizens holidays.
“To us this is not only an unfriendly gesture but it also proves that Romania’s current leadership considers the Hungarian community living here second class citizens,” Gulyás said.
“Our interests lie in a strong and confident Romania; one that respects the national minority, the individual and community rights of Hungarians living here and sees them the way we see minorities living in our country: as assets to the country’s economy and cultural diversity.”
Csoma said all the conditions were in place for RMDSZ and the Hungarian community to secure strong representation in parliament in the election.
Meanwhile, at a press conference held jointly with RMDSZ leader Hunor Kelemen in Nagyvárad (Oradea), Gulyás said Romania’s ethnic Hungarian community should reward RMDSZ and the Transylvanian Hungarian Alliance (EMSZ) for their cooperation by showing up to vote in the election. He urged Hungarians to overcome their fear of the pandemic and go to the polls next week.
Kelemen said the cooperation between RMDSZ and EMSZ would only prove meaningful if the voters, too, united to back the alliance with their votes. He praised the partnership between his party and Hungary’s Fidesz-led government, saying that the solidarity between them was now represented not just in words but also in actions.
featured image: Gulyás and Kelemen in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca); via Gábor Kiss/MTI