József Szájer, who on Sunday suddenly announced his resignation as a member of the European Parliament, on Wednesday quit the Fidesz party, pro-government Magyar Nemzet reported. The politician tendered his resignation to Fidesz party director Gábor Kubatov, the paper said.
Speaking to Magyar Nemzet during a break in a cabinet meeting, Orbán said: “What our fellow representative József Szájer did is incompatible with the values of our political community.”
“We won’t forget or disavow his thirty years of work, but his action is unacceptable and indefensible,” the prime minister said. “After what happened, he made the only right decision by apologising and resigning as an MEP and quitting Fidesz,” Orbán said, adding that his party has acknowledged Szájer’s decision.
József Szájer, Fidesz MEP and founding member of the party, resigned from his EP mandate on November 29th, saying that participating in the daily political struggle had been “an increasing mental strain” on him for some time. However, two days later it turned out that prior to his resignation, he had attended a sex party in Brussels that had been disbanded by the police due to restrictions imposed by the epidemic. Drugs were also found at the party. On Tuesday, Szájer admitted in a statement that he was present at the “house party” but claimed he had not used drugs.
Opposition political parties and politicians condemned Fidesz for propagating Christian-conservative values with scandals in the background. The Democratic Coalition has called on ruling Fidesz to expel Szájer from the party’s ranks with immediate effect, while Jobbik called for the regular mandatory drug testing of all MPs.
FactJózsef Szájer was one of Fidesz’s best-known and most successful politicians. In 1988, he participated in the founding of the party. Back then, he was an assistant professor at the Department of Roman Law of the Faculty of Law at Eötvös Loránd University. He participated in the work of the Opposition Roundtable from 1989 to 1990, and from 1990 to 2004 he was a Member of Parliament. During this time he held a number of important political positions, including as leader of the Fidesz Parliamentary Group, chairman of the European Integration Committee, and from 2002 to 2004 he was the vice-chairman of the Hungarian Parliament. He was elected a Member of the European Parliament in 2004 and was Vice-President of the Group of the European People’s Party and European Democrats from 2004 to 2009. Since 2009, he has been the Vice-President for Legislation of the European People’s Party. He was also a member of the Council of the European People’s Party from 2000 to 2011. Between 2003 and 2009, he was the head of the Hungarian Delegation of the Group of the European People’s Party and European Democrats. Between 2009 and 2011, he was the chairman of the Hungarian Delegation of the European People’s Party. He wrote the new constitution of Hungary, which is known for its very conservative and Christian values-based approach.
Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI