Coalition parties to appoint ethnic Hungarian as Romania’s ombudsman

The government coalition parties have agreed to appoint the Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca-based university teacher Gyula Fábián (49) as the Romanian ombudsman, president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym of RMDSZ) Hunor Kelemen announced.

Fábián was nominated by the RMDSZ, while the USR-PLUS party leaders did not seek to nominate anyone for this position during the coalition negotiations.

Romania’s ombudsman is appointed for a term of five years, with the possibility of renewing the mandate only once, to defend the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals. His appointment will be voted upon after a hearing during a joint sitting of the two chambers of parliament; according to Kelemen, a majority of votes is assured.

Kelemen’s statement was corroborated by Ludovic Orban, the current president of the Liberal Party, who added that the coalition is backing only one person for the ombudsman role, and that is Gyula Fábián.

The appointment procedure was launched as a result of a parliamentary decision to dismiss the former ombudsman. Renate Weber took office on June 26, 2019, and served in the role until mid-June, 2021.

Before becoming a university teacher, Gyula Fábian was a prosecutor in the Prosecutor’s Office at the Cluj Court of Appeals. He graduated from the Law School of Babeș-Bolyai University in Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca in 1994 and has held a Ph.D. in legal sciences on international public law since 2001. The RMDSZ proposed him as Romania’s ombudsman a month ago, Hungarian news portal Krónika reports.

In an interview with Krónika, Fábián, who was born in Kézdiszárazpatak/Valea Seaca, said he sees this position as a service and that he won’t distance himself from minorities and the protection of minority rights, as the latter is part of basic human rights.

Title image: Gyula Fábián. Image source: Agerpress

Author: István Fekete