The two Transylvanian Hungarian parties that have positioned themselves as alternatives to RMDSZ (Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania) are to unite as one organization. The decision was taken at a joint session of the College of Delegates of the Hungarian People’s Party of Transylvania (EMNP) and that of the Hungarian Civic Party (MPP) on Saturday in Csíkszereda (Miercurea-Ciuc).
The new political party will be called Transylvanian Hungarian Alliance, and its registration procedure will be initiated after the local elections – which are likely to be organized at the beginning of June. As István Csomortányi, the president of EMNP explained at a Saturday press conference, it is uncertain that the judicial registration of the new political entity would be finalized in time, thus both parties might risk participation in the local elections if they schedule the merger before the elections. That is the reason EMNP and MPP decided to postpone a full fusion until after the elections and enter the election instead by forming a political alliance, which can be registered more easily than a political party. The leader of the MPP, János Mezei, stated that they have agreed that there will be joint decision-making after the merger, with the two party leaders becoming co-presidents in the future Transylvanian Hungarian Alliance.
The College of Delegates of both EMNP and MPP together has about 100 members; the two colleges, however, held their own separate, closed-door sessions in Csíkszereda on Saturday. Both assemblies accepted the merger of their parties, with only a few votes against and a couple of abstentions. A joint session was then held in the presence of the media, and delegates voted again on the merger resolution, at which time only one abstention was recorded.
Mezei stated at the press conference that they do not aim to weaken the representation of Transylvanian Hungarians but to strengthen it, helping RMDSZ to achieve better results as well. When asked about the fate of the political cooperation agreement between RMDSZ and MPP signed back in 2013, Mezei said that if RMDSZ will be open to it, “the new ally – that is EMNP – will be brought into the agreement too.”
Both EMNP and MPP have positioned themselves as political alternatives to RMDSZ, which ever since 1990 has been the only party ensuring representation to Transylvanian Hungarians in the Romanian parliament. Hungarian minority rights and the pursuit of cultural and territorial autonomy are common objectives of RMDSZ, EMNP and MPP, but their views on how these goals might be achieved are rather different. RMDSZ focuses on dialog and cooperation with the majority, whilst EMNP criticizes RMDSZ for making too many compromises with Romanian political parties.
Csomortányi has recently only been in the public eye for receiving a hefty fine after a Facebook photo showed him making a Nazi salute.
Nevertheless, RMDSZ has the support of the overwhelming majority of the Hungarian community; it is yet to be seen how people will react to the merger of the other two parties.
Title image: István Csomortányi, president of EMNP, (on the left) and János Mezei, leader of MPP, have agreed on joint decision-making in the new Alliance