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PM Orbán Urges Ukraine's Ethnic Hungarians To Take Part In Local Elections In "Decisive Times"

Ferenc Sullivan 2015.10.20.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has urged Ukraine’s 150 000-strong ethnic Hungarian minority to participate in local government elections to be held in Ukraine this weekend and vote for Hungarian lists.

It is important for the Hungarian community to be represented in local self-governments with appropriate weight, authority and  in good quality, Mr. Orbán told journalists after meeting the chairman of the Hungarian Cultural Federation in Transcarpathia (KMKSZ), László Brenzovics, in Parliament in Budapest.

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Mr. Orbán also called upon Transcarpathian Hungarians to take part in elections who are currently in Hungary living or working here but maintain the right to vote in the country’s northeastern neighbour. Ukraine is a country in transition, the Prime Minister pointed out, and “every election has great significance, potentially a decisive significance”, in such cases. Commenting on Hungarian support to ethnic kin in war-torn Ukraine, he said that the cabinet acted according to excact plans submitted by local Hungarian organisations such as education institutions and KMKSZ .

Substantial support to ethnic kin in Ukraine

“The situation is not easy in Hungary either, there are always economic difficulties here too, but these cannot be equalled to problems suffered by Transcarpathian Hungarians and Ukrainians day by day”, the Prime Minister said, branding Transcarpathia an important region of Europe and stressing that friendship, coexistence and cooperation local Ukrainians are key values that should be preserved in the future. For this reason, the Hungarian government is also launching schemes that target the development of Transcarpathia as a whole, he said.

Following discussions, Mr. Brenzovics thanked the Hungarian cabinet for support for his community, highlighting that Transcarpathian Hungarian teachers, health care staff, as well as parents enrolling their children to Hungarian-language kindergartens, all received substantial funding from the government this year. This was especially important given that these institutions would have found themselves in an impossible situation due country’s economic crisis and well-qualified ethnic Hungarians would have left the country in increasing numbers, the local Hungarian leader pointed out.