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Only Opposition MPs Show Up for Extraordinary Session on Ukraine

picture of empty Hungarian Parliament

The extraordinary session of the National Assembly, convened by the opposition and announced by Speaker of Parliament László Kövér for 8:00pm on Thursday evening, lasted only twenty-five minutes. As the Fidesz-KDNP parliamentary delegation did not go to the meeting, the session did not reach quorum.

The opposition had intended to force the government to pass a resolution titled “Condeming military agression against Ukraine,” with demands that they distance themselves from the “Russian military intervention,” express their solidarity with Ukraine, accept Ukrainian refugees, implement NATO and EU decisions, suspend the Paks II nuclear expansion project, and expel the Russian-backed International Investment Bank from the country.

A few hours before that, however, Parliament voted in favor of a political statement initiated by Fidesz that condemned “Russian military aggression” and those who want to send soldiers and weapons to Ukraine. Some points in the statement were similar to the opposition’s resolution proposal, but it did not include calls for, among other things, expelling the Russian bank and ending Paks II.

Lacking Fidesz members, only members of the opposition delegations spoke. Bence Tordai from Dialogue complained that members of the government did not come to the session, and claimed that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “is still a believer in Putin and the ongoing fight.” LMP’s Antal Csárdi said that military aggression needed to be clearly called out for what it is.

DK’s László Varju called Orbán “a minion at the mercy of Putin, who is hated by the entire world,” asking the Prime Minister how much his policies had contributed to the events of the war. “We don’t know what they’re blackmailing you with,” said Varju, “but the whole thing stinks from afar.” He also claimed that both the EU and NATO had become distrustful of Hungary.

The absence of Fidesz did not mean this extraordinary session was not a success, said Ágnes Kunhalmi of MSZP, as the political resolution condemning Russian aggression that Parliament earlier adopted was forced on the government by the opposition. Kunhalmi stated that it was no longer a question of calling it Russian aggression, but rather how they can protect Hungary from the negative economic effects of the war.

Finally, Jobbik’s Dániel Z. Kárpát accused the government of being responsible for the housing crisis, for Hungarians leaving the country, for “deliberately weakening the forint exchange rate,” for the high cost of groceries, and for watching the war in a neighboring country with “idle strategic calm.”

[Telex][Photo: Tímea Szabó / Facebook]

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Posted in Ukraine conflict

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