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Opposition on Gruevski Case: “Criminal, Not an Asylum-Seeker”

Ábrahám Vass 2018.11.15.

Opposition parties agree that the government should arrest and extradite Nikola Gruevski. The convicted former Macedonian PM arrived under controversial circumstances to Hungary and requested asylum yesterday after failing to show up to begin a two-year prison sentence in his home country for corruption.

Jobbik has demanded the immediate arrest and extradition of former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who is wanted in his home country. MP Ádám Mirkóczki stated at a press conference that his party demands that the interior ministry explain “how it was possible for a criminal to make his way through the southern border Hungary has reinforced by spending several hundreds of billions of forints.” Mirkóczki pointed out that Hungary has listed Macedonia as a safe country, adding that Gruevski is a “criminal, not an asylum-seeker.”

Independent MP Ákos Hadházy announced on his Facebook page that he plans to launch a lawsuit against the unknown offender who assisted in Nikola Gruevski’s illegal border crossing and controversial arrival in Hungary. In his post, he accused the Hungarian government of supporting illegal immigration as it acknowledged the sheltering of a criminal who had arrived illegally without a valid passport—an act only able to be carried out via government decision.

MSZP MP Tamás Harangozó said his party is not surprised that Orbán is welcoming his friend—a criminal convicted of corruption—as a refugee. The party demands answers from the Minister of Interior concerning the circumstances of the entry of “a fugitive criminal” into Hungary without a passport.

Párbeszéd’s Richárd Barabás called on PM Orbán to immediately launch a procedure to extradite the former Macedonian PM. He also demanded that the PM reveal how Gruevski—whom he called an “illegal migrant”—had managed to enter Hungary via the southern border without a passport. Macedonia lies in an intersection of two interest groups and Barabás called on Orbán to decide whether he wants to act as an ally of Russia or the West.

Democratic Coalition (DK) has called on the government to refuse the request for political asylum by the former Macedonian PM. The party group’s spokesman Zsolt Gréczy also wanted to know whether Viktor Orbán had promised Gruevski protection or helped him to flee.

Momentum drew a parallel between the controversial extradition of Azeri killer Ramil Safarov and Gruevski’s reception. The opposition party’s communique accuses the government of using double standards with asylum-seekers, adding that the whole process is not about Gruevski’s former position, but Orbán’s relationship with a comrade who is “similarly corrupt.”

On Wednesday, communications chief of ruling Fidesz Balázs Hidvéghi stated at a press conference that in line with Hungary’s “unbroken legal practice” all those that are “in fact persecuted” in their homeland will be granted asylum under a decision by relevant authorities. He added, that Gruevski is “at the moment being persecuted and threatened by a leftist government backed by George Soros.”

featured image via Reuters/Ognen Teofilovsk