Péter Szijjártó has accused the United States of preparing to interfere in Hungary’s 2022 parliamentary elections, HVG.hu reports based on information from the Financial Times. According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, “certain preparatory phases have already been detected,” with the goal of ousting Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. He also responded to Hungary’s exclusion from Joe Biden’s virtual democracy summit, saying it has to do with Hungary’s positive relations with the former US government of Donald Trump.
Szijjártó says it can be expected that the United States will try to interfere in the upcoming Hungarian election between Viktor Orbán and Péter Márki-Zay through the Global Magnitsky Act. According to him, the same act was used by the USA to topple former Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borisov.
Szijjártó: US Global Sanction Bill to Be Used Against Hungary
“We don’t live on the Moon. We live in Central Europe,” he said, “there will definitely be attempts, certain preparatory phases have already been detected.”
The Global Magnitsky Act is a bill of the United States allowing for global sanctions on human rights offenders and individuals involved in significant corruption by freezing their assets and banning them from entering the United States. Proof of charges is not required.
Since it was introduced in 2004, not only the United States, but Canada, the European Union (after Hungary dropped its objections), and the United Kingdom have all introduced the bill. In 2014, the United States banned the entry of six Hungarian officials as a warning that Hungary was undermining democratic values.
Hungary Only EU Country Excluded from Democracy Summit
Responding to why he thinks Hungary was not among the 110 countries invited to Biden’s upcoming democracy summit in December, Szijjártó said the exclusion was disrespectful, and named the summit a “domestic politics type of event.” He added that Hillary Clinton’s recent interview with MSNBC made it clear that the leaders of the nations which were not invited were those that promoted positive relations with former president Donald Trump.
In the interview, Hillary Clinton listed Hungary’s Viktor Orbán among her examples of autocratic leaders who are “driven by personal power, and greed, and corruption, but who utilize fears about change to try to get people to hate one another and feel insecure and therefore be easily manipulated by demagogues and by disinformation.”
Clinton described Trump and his enablers as having tried to stage a coup on the United States with the attack on Capitol Hill, saying “they don’t like the world we’re living in,” which is a characteristic she considers the former US president to have in common with Orbán.
Szijjártó responded that given Hungary’s existence spanning over a thousand years, “we do not need anyone to judge the state of Hungarian democracy like they would a high school examination”
Featured photo illustration by Tibor Illyés/MTI