The United States Senate has approved the nomination of television producer Colleen Bradley Bell as US ambassador to Hungary. The appointment was approved in a vote of 52 to 42, with Democrats voting for and Republicans against the nominee. The Hungarian foreign ministry had already approved Bell’s appointment last year.
However, John McCain, a Republican senator and former US presidential candidate, delivered a stormy address in the Senate before the vote, attacking Bell’s candidacy. He said she was a “totally unsuitable” nominee to a “very important country where bad things are going on.” He underlined Bell’s lack of expertise. “Hungary is a close ally in many respects, but there’s no doubt that since taking office in 2010, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has centralized power,” McCain said, adding that critics say Orbán’s measures go against democratic principles.
Viktor Orbán “has reduced the independence of Hungary’s courts, pushed through controversial changes in the constitution and placed acute restrictions on non-governmental organizations,” McCain added. He charged that Orbán had been “cozying up” to Vladimir Putin, with whom he had signed a nuclear pact and “is practicing the same kind of antidemocratic practices” as his role model. John Mccain also speak about a “neofascist dictator”, but it was not obvious which politician he was stigmatizing, the Hungarian PM or the Russian president.
via hungarymatters.hu photo: wikimedia CC