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Romanian Election Poll Not Promising for the Hungarian Minority

Hungary Today 2024.01.12.
AUR head George Simion

In Romania, the Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR), labeled extremist by other parliamentary parties, and another newly formed nationalist party, S.O.S. Romania, would also win seats in the European Parliament if the EP elections were held now, reveals a poll presented on Wednesday.

The data of the poll commissioned by the National Liberal Party (PNL) and conducted by the Center for International Research and Analyses (CIRA) in December, in which 1,000 people were interviewed, was presented by news portal Hotnews.

If the European Parliament elections were held in Romania this Sunday, the poll shows that Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu’s Social Democratic Party (PSD) would win the most votes with 30%. Its coalition partner, Nicolae Ciucă’s PNL, would be represented in Brussels with 20% of the vote.

The PNL is followed by the Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR) led by George Simion, two points behind. The party, having entered the Bucharest parliament in 2020, would enter the European Parliament with 18% of the vote. The AUR split-off S.O.S. Romania, the new party of Senator Diana Șoșoacă that regularly causes scandals in the Romanian parliament, could also send MEPs to Brussels with 6% of the vote.

As the poll shows, the Hungarian Democratic Alliance of Romania (RMDSZ) would receive 5% of the vote.

The liberal Alliance for the Save Romania Union (USR), critical of the traditional parties, would receive 14% of the vote.

These poll results do not bode well for the Hungarian minority in Romania, especially since their legitimate concerns that have been voiced several times since the fall of communism, are falling on deaf ears not only among the nationalist parties. As reported by Hungary Today, the lower house of the Romanian parliament rejected three autonomy proposals for Szeklerland and the Transylvanian Hungarians by an overwhelming majority after Christmas.

The sham debate in parliament on the three autonomy bills was a new opportunity for Bucharest MPs to prove their “unwavering adherence” to the obsessions that Romania’s political class has cultivated for more than a hundred years.

After the traditional end-of-year feasts, it was unlikely that the elected representatives, preoccupied with digestion, would have enough oxygenated blood left for intellectual activities such as studying ambitious projects.

Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, who was a welcome guest at lavish feasts in the not-too-distant past, knows the psychology of the partygoers well enough to know that the abrupt interruption of epicurean delights causes irritation.

Marcel Ciolacu. Photo: Facebook/Marcel Ciolacu

The nervousness, cries, and unrest that accompanied the predictable rejection of various forms of autonomy were probably not only expected, but even desired by the PSD leader, whose shrewdness is beyond doubt. Ciolacu has managed to kill two birds with one stone:

Firstly, the parliamentary debate is off the table, and secondly, Romania’s political class escapes having to deal with an uncomfortable issue for years to come.

Autonomy, a reality in many EU countries for decades, is still a red rag in Romania among all parties. The demand for self-determination is generally regarded as an attack on the essence of the Romanian state and equated with high treason. The power elite in Bucharest is predominantly Orthodox and ignores subsidiarity, the principle of Catholic social teaching that underpins all political autonomy. This principle, which created prosperity after the Second World War, was translated into political practice by the ruling Christian Democratic parties.

If Romania as a whole had a tradition of civic self-determination, there would be no exaggerated reactions such as those of the Romanian parliamentarians. Unfortunately, only Transylvania and Banat have historical models in this respect: The national university of the Transylvanian Saxons (Universitas Saxonum), the reformed presbyteries of the Calvinist Hungarians and Szeklers, the democratic bodies of the Unitarians and Sabbatarians, the Roman Catholic lay self-government (Transylvanian status), and the territorial authorities of the Romanian, Serbian and Szekler border guards.

A multi-speed Romania could handle the different historical experiences more easily than a monolithic state that functions more poorly than well, according to the principle of the lowest common denominator.

The reaction of the ultra-nationalist parties and MPs from other parties, who differ only gradually or rhetorically from their colleagues from the AUR, came as no surprise to anyone. Those who still harbored illusions about the alliance to save Romania, even after the coalition with former President Traian Băsescu’s People’s Movement Party (PMP) and the PNL split-off Force of the Right, got to see the true face of a party that many naive voters consider anti-systemic, shortly after Christmas. Calling a bill that was drafted after a careful study of European legislation on the subject “toxic,” as the USR did, is at best a testament to the hypocrisy of these so-called “saviors” of Romania. The only thing they are saving is the votes of a section of the electorate with chauvinistic reflexes.

Draft Autonomy Bills for Szeklerland Voted Down in Romania
Draft Autonomy Bills for Szeklerland Voted Down in Romania

The statute of autonomy for Szeklerland was submitted to the Romanian legislature for the fifth time.Continue reading

Via Ungarn Heute, Featured image: Facebook/George Simion

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