Six remaining members of the opposition LMP parliamentary group on Wednesday held a joint press conference with the purpose of showing unity after former co-leader Bernadett Szél and Szabolcs Szabó quit the group this week.
László Lóránt Keresztes, the green party’s co-leader, said he wanted to avoid any further splits in the group.
He said LMP group had been taken by surprise by Szél’s departure.
Keresztes, who is also the group leader, added the party was not after her parliamentary mandate since she had done a lot for LMP in recent years and was expected to continue to make use of her mandate going forward. Szél, he conceded, had diverged from the party on a number of political issues, and the party’s one-time nominee for the post of prime minister had explained her decision to them much in the same way as she had done in public.
Recently, Szél has said she disagreed with LMP MEPs who withheld their support for the Sargentini report. Keresztes insisted LMP had debated the matter since early in the summer and its leadership decided unanimously not to vote for the report, even if it agreed with its basic message.
He said today’s debate in parliament on the report by Dutch green MEP Judith Sargentini was “political theatre” and overture to a fake EU campaign which the left also took part in.
Whereas Fidesz’s slogan is “Europe’s future is at stake”, the left, he said, would present the dichotomy of “Orbán or Europe”. LMP, for its part, will not get into this game, he added.
Keresztes said another former co-leader, András Schiffer, would not return to the party, saying the lawyer-turned-politician only provides the party with legal representation and harboured no intention of returning.