All parties of Romania’s ethnic Hungarian community have welcomed that Hungary’s Parliament had granted voting rights to Hungarian citizens abroad, including ethnic Hungarians residing in neighbouring countries, the Cluj-based Hungarian-language daily Kronika said on Wednesday.
Hungarian parliament passed a new election law on December 23.
“Enfranchisement had to go hand in hand with citizenship,” Hunor Kelemen, leader of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ), said.
Kelemen also welcomed that, in line with his party’s position, ethnic Hungarians abroad will only cast a single vote, on a national party list.
Setting up individual constituencies abroad “would only have generated division between residents of Hungary and those in neighbouring countries and triggered undesirable conflict,” he said.
Tibor T. Toro, acting chairman of the Hungarian People’s Party of Transylvania (EMNP), called the involvement of Hungarian minorities in Hungary’s political life another important and logical step towards “national unification”. He added that the law may indirectly support the autonomy endeavours of Transylvanian Hungarians.
Jeno Szasz, head of the Hungarian Civic Party (MPP), described the law as a “major step forward after Hungary had actually dissociated from us in the December 5, 2004 referendum held during [Ferenc] Gyurcsany’s government.”
In his view, the idea of setting up individual constituencies beyond the border was abandoned as Hungary’s government had to consider the reaction of neighbouring countries.