Momentum President’s Support of Romanian Politician Draws Heated Debate
Péter Cseresnyés 2019.11.08.
The first round of the presidential election will be held in Romania on Sunday, with only two out of the fourteen candidates advancing to the possible second half. Ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party leader Hunor Kelemen is also among the contenders. During the fight for votes, opposition liberal party Momentum stood behind Dan Barna, a Romanian politician who was introduced by the USR-PLUS Liberal Party Alliance. The opposition party’s move shocked the Hungarian government, PMO Head Gergely Gulyás even called two of the party’s politicians “Romanian agents” for campaigning for a Romanian candidate instead of a Hungarian one.
Presidential elections will be held on November 10, 2019, with a possible second round on November 24, 2019. Hunor Kelemen, the leader of Fidesz supported ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party, is also among the candidates who has an abysmal chance of getting into the second round, given his support hovering around 3-4%.
Hunor Kelemen: None of the Romanian candidates have any proposals for the Hungarians in Romania
In an interview with ethnic Hungarian news site maszol.ro, Hunor Kelemen explained why he decided to run for office despite his almost certain failure. The politician thinks he is the only good choice for representing ethnic Hungarian interests. Voting for him can also demonstrate the power of the Hungarian community, adding “it is worth choosing the lesser evil only in the second round.”
In another interview with valaszonline.hu he said that none of the Romanian candidates had any proposals for the Hungarian community. In his view, this is partly due to the arrogance of the majority, and according to the Romanian state, there is no such thing as a minority issue.
Momentum backs the Romanian liberal candidate
Liberal opposition Momentum leader András Fekete-Győr appeared at the USR-PLUS Romanian Liberal Party Campaign Meeting in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) last weekend, where he was campaigning for presidential candidate Dan Barna.
When asked by news portal azonnali.hu whether he should support Hunor Kelemen advocating for Hungarian representation instead of Dan Barna, the President of Momentum said:
“Dan Barna, unlike Hunor Kelemen, has a chance of becoming the next president of Romania.”
It is best for the Hungarians to vote for a presidential candidate who has a chance to win, and USR-PLUS also has a serious program for minority protection, Fekete-Győr added.
According to Válaszonline, Dan Barna is relatively popular among ethnic Hungarians of Romania, especially among the younger generation.
Hungarian Government: Momentum politicians are Romanian agents
Many politicians of the Hungarian government harshly criticized the Liberal Party’s decision to support a Romanian politician.
Balázs Orbán posted a picture on Facebook condemning Fekete-Győr’s action, emphasizing that supporting a Hungarian candidate is a must for the government parties.
On Thursday, during his regular weekly press briefing, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office said:
So far, Romanian agents have worked undercover, even if the agents were Hungarians. Momentum president András Fekete-Győr’s Romanian campaign – backing a Romanian liberal politician against a Hungarian candidate – is a new phenomenon.”
“Based on András Fekete-Győr’s behavior, I consider calling him an agent highly justified, and this is also true for another Momentum politician,” Gulyás said, referring to Momentum MEP Katalin Cseh.
The minister said that the president of Momentum should be ashamed of himself and called on the politician to resign because he thinks “a Romanian will protect the interests of Hungarian minorities better than a Hungarian politician.”
Reacting to Gulyás’s comments, András Fekete-Győr wrote on Facebook, discussing the agents: the “Putinist Orbán government” should not forget that they brought in Russian agents into Hungary and the EU through the International Investment Bank. He again wished all the best for Dan Barna and his party on the Romanian presidential elections held this weekend.