Sargentini report: Campaign start for Orban, burden for the opposition

The so-called Sargentini report, which will be debated by the European Parliament’s plenary on September 11, seems to be a difficult puzzle for the Hungarian opposition parties, according to opposition news site Alfahir.hu. The plenary votes about the report, which threatens with stripping Hungary of its voting rights, on the next day. According to Alfahir.hu it’s not too likely, but the report is still a start of Orban’s campaign for the European elections in 2019.

Pro-government newspaper Magyar Idok reported on last Friday that Prime Minister Viktor Orban will attend the plenary debate, this information was later confirmed by his press chief. According to Alfahir.hu, Orban will surely use the opportunity to portray himself as the heroic guardian of the attacked Hungary, and explain the report by blaming George Soros for it.

“But the report doesn’t work well for the opposition parties, who will only be the supporting cast at the debate and the vote, not to mention that the vote is a trap for them,” Alfahir writes.

The article points out that if the opposition MEPs accept the report they will be portrayed as pro-migration, pro-Soros traitors, and the majority of the people are not aware of the full content of the report anyway. If they reject the report, Alfahir.hu adds, then the opposition helps Orban by legitimising his freedom fighter rhetorics and hides in his shadow.

MSZP MEP Istvan Ujhelyi told Alfahir.hu that contrary to what the government says, the report is not a “Sorosist conspiracy”, but contains legitimate criticisms of the Hungarian situation, and the Socialist Party will examine the final report with the amendments before making a decision. Green opposition party LMP gave a rather puzzling answer: MEP Tamas Meszerics said the party leadership hasn’t made its decision yet, then later MP Marta Demeter told Hir TV that they won’t support it. Finally, Meszerics said Demeter could only speak for the party’s organisation in Budapest, not the whole party, and he will make his decision himself. Jobbik’s press department answered that the full report is not yet available to the MEPs, so they will make their decision later. Left-liberal DK and liberal Parbeszed (whose MEP, Benedek Javor sits in the Greens/EFA group) hasn’t answered yet.

Hungary Journal
Photo: EP

 

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