Kolozs County PNL leaders outraged by appointment of ethnic Hungarian prefect

Coalition parties in Romania made an agreement about the prefect positions in the country earlier this month, but local Kolozs (Cluj) PNL politicians are dissatisfied with the fact that the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym RMDSZ) received the Kolozs Prefecture, as this would mean the new county prefect would be an ethnic Hungarian. According to RMDSZ President Hunor Kelemen, they are ready to cede the position of the Kolozs Prefect Office to PNL for a similar one, for example, for the Bihar (Bihor) Prefect Office, but not for other lower-level local positions.

The leaders of the ruling coalition had split up the prefect and deputy prefect positions on February 1. Prefects in Romania’s 41 counties and the capital of Bucharest are government-appointed officials who generally oversee regional development, laws and emergency response, among other things. Local administrations, however, is provided by elected mayors and councils of individual settlements.

According to this decision, the Bucharest Prefect’s Office goes to USR-PLUS, while PNL will take the Bihar Prefecture, and RMDSZ obtained the Prefecture of Kolozs county.

Local Kolozs County PNL politicians, including Mayor of Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) Emil Boc and president of the Kolozs County Council Alin Tișe (who even threatened his resignation from the party if the Kolozs County Prefect was from RMDSZ), are not happy with this decision.

They have thus been trying to convince PNL leaders to change it and put a PNL politician into office instead.

Emil Boc and president of the Kolozs County PNL and MEP Daniel Buda raised their concerns about the decision and asked to change it at the meeting of the party’s main decision-making board, called the National Political Bureau, on February 13.

This could revitalize anti-Hungarian feelings in Kolozs/Cluj County

According to g4media.ro, Emil Boc said at the meeting that the appointment of an ethnic Hungarian to the Kolozs Prefecture could possibly “revitalize anti-Hungarian feelings” in the county. The portal also mentioned that the Kolozs County politicians offered other local-level positions for RMDSZ in exchange for the prefect position.

“We asked to find a solution, to find a [way] to have the prefect position. Everyone is open to discussion, and we’re relying on the good collaboration we have had with RMDSZ,” Daniel Buda told g4media.ro.

Following the PNL’s board meeting, cluj24.ro asked RMDSZ President Hunor Kelemen if they would be open to exchange the prefect position for another local position in Kolozs County. According to Kelemen, RMDSZ is open to cede the Kolozs County Prefecture, but only for a similar one in return — not for other local positions.

“The Prefect of Kolozs can be exchanged for the one in Bihar. For us, Kolozs was not the first option, but this came out after the negotiations. You can exchange prefecture for prefecture, Bihar for Kolozs; this is the only possibility.”

“Our first option for prefect was Bihar. Our relationship with PNL in Kolozs is an old and tried one; when PSD wanted us to go with them in Kolozs [to form a coalition- ed. note], we refused and went with PNL. Our relationship is more important than the position of prefect, but at this moment it is up to us. I have nothing to do with the fact that PNL did not choose Kolozs. It can be exchanged with Bihar,” said Kelemen.

When asked if the Kolozs prefect position could be exchanged for other local positions or positions in the central administration, the RMDSZ leader replied that things should not be mixed up.


Title image: The spectacular building of the Kolozs County Prefecture in Kolozsvár (Image is from Wikipedia)

Author: Attila Szoó