UDMR Congress sounds out for new partnership with the Liberals

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The Hungarian Democrat Union of Romania (UDMR) Congress in Cluj Napoca on Friday gave a lead to other possible partnerships on the Romanian political scene. While the Liberals’ messages unveiled invitations for UDMR to team up for a future coalition, Prime Minister Victor Ponta stated that collaboration with the UDMR was not a current issue.

National Liberal Party Co-Chair Vasile Blaga proposed a 10-year partnership to the Hungarian Democrat Union of Romani in the opening of the ethnic Hungarian party’s congress in Cluj-Napoca. ‘”My message to you, my dear colleagues of the UDMR, is let us work together, the new PNL [National Liberal Party, in the Opposition] and the UDMR, to reach this goal Romania faces for the next decade — reaching a living and development level that would place Romania at the European Union average. I have heard many saying Romania no longer has a major goal to concentrate its energies, but the project I stated is obvious, logic and urgent; because for reaching it I invite you to work together, whether both in the Opposition now or coming to govern at some point. Thus, I propose you to lay the foundations of a long-term partnership, on at least 10 years. We have some shared assets, we have the experience of excellent collaboration both in the opposition and ruling,” Blaga told the UDMR Congress.

He also argued that UDMR was the true representative of the interests of ethnic Hungarians and praised its contribution over its 25 years of existence.

Late on Thursday, the other PNL co-president Alina Gorghiu told Gandul Live that after UDMR’s congress, PNL would begin talks to the Union in the view of signing a parliamentary partnership protocol that would also stipulate the Magyars’ support for the Liberal governing program.

On the other hand, PM Ponta attending the Congress in Cluj and hailing the participants in Hungarian seemed to have loosened pressure on UDMR to stay in the ruling coalition, saying that UDMR is entitled to any decision on its involvement in governing.

“This is not an actual issue, especially as I was not the one to ask the UDMR to leave the government. It was a political decision I understood, I respect and any further decision on a governmental involvement is strictly UDMR’s right; from my point of view, however, there’s no hard feeling about it (…) In 2011 I attended your congress in Oradea and I asked you to leave the former ruling coalition and to come next to us. You did not take our advice. In 2013, while in Miercurea Ciuc, I asked you to join the ruling coalition. You took us at our word, a little bit, but you eventually left. So, in 2015 I came to my senses and I am not asking you anything anymore, as I know you will do whatever you think it is best,” Ponta said.

President Klaus Iohannis also sent a message to UDMR’s congress, praising the Union as a stability and balance actor on the Romanian political stage and for its expertise in the local administration. However, Iohannis appealed to the professionalization of the entire political class, arguing a different way of going in for politics is needed. He suggested that integrity increase is possible through selecting and promoting persons who are not corrupted or corruptible.

At the beginning of the Congress, UDMR president Kelemen Hunor was somehow in the President Iohannis’ assent, also stating that the meeting will take place under the sign of reconfiguring the way of going in for politics, but with preserving the current values of UDMR. Kelemen Hunor is the only candidate running for a new president seat at the helm of UDMR.


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