Recent comments made by the opposition’s joint candidate for prime minister have sparked outrage among Transcarpathian Hungarian organizations. In an interview on Sunday, Péter Márki-Zay said many of the Transcarpathian Hungarians who had fled to Hungary to escape the Russian-Ukrainian war are Fidesz voters, who now have an easier time voting for the ruling party in the upcoming election. He added that “we can’t rule out” that many of the Transcarpathian Hungarians who are taking refuge in Hungary may also be “pro-Russian.”
Talking about the upcoming parliamentary elections on April 3, Péter Márki-Zay said regarding Transcarpathian Hungarians with dual citizenship who fled from Ukraine to Hungary over the past few days:
“It is a fact that previously they had to cross the border on that day [the day of the election], to be among the 200 people registering to an uninhabitable property to cast their votes for Fidesz. Now they don’t have to cross the border because they are already here.”
“So those sixty thousand [now over 80,000 – editor] who have come over, I think a significant number of them are Hungarian voters, so they will be able to vote somewhat more easily.”
Márki-Zay added that “Fidesz will have support among them.”
After saying that he believes Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was partly responsible for the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the politician said at the end of the video that “we should not rule out the possibility that many Hungarians in Transcarpathia [who came to Hungary in recent days] may be more pro-Russian.”
The Youth Organization of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association, (KMKSZ ISZ) which is also a partner organization of Fidesz youth Fidelitas, reacted to Márki-Zay’s comments in a Facebook post on Monday.
The organization wrote that they did not ask for anything from “the political left” in the mother country, but they were still “given.”
“Once again, they kicked us as hard as they could! It all happened on Sunday evening, when the prime ministerial candidate of the political Left gave his usual video interview. Instead of leaving us alone, especially now, he once again turned our fellow compatriots in Hungary against us because of the campaign,” the Transcarpathian youth org. stated.
According to KMKSZ ISZ “we could learn in live broadcast” from Márki-Zay that the people of Transcarpathia are Fidesz supporters and that after some of them have fled to Hungary, they’ll have an easier time voting for the governing parties.”
“We urge those in the mother country not to fall for the opposition’s propaganda. Recall how many times the Hungarian left has incited against Hungarians living beyond the border,” KMKSZ ISZ added. In these times, the youth org wrote, we need prudence and national unity, whether we live in Budapest or Beregszász.
The Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association (KMKSZ) also reacted to Márki-Zay’s remarks.
KMKSZ firmly condemns the Hungarian opposition targeting Transcarpathia Hungarians amid the war in Ukraine, KMKSZ said on Tuesday.
“It is regrettable that certain Hungarian opposition parties have chosen the region’s Hungarian community in this otherwise difficult situation for their campaign purposes. It is also regrettable that those parties seek to garner votes in their campaign for Hungary’s upcoming general election by stoking up tension between Hungarians in the motherland and the Hungarian communities beyond the borders,” the organization wrote in a statement.
“Transcarpathian Hungarians have also formed part of the Hungarian nation irrespective of their several decades of separation, which is why we highly welcomed the government’s program of unification,” KMKSZ’s board said, asking Hungarian parties and politicians to stop using members of the community for campaign purposes with respect to their difficult situation.
Featured photo via Péter Márki-Zay’s Facebook page