Hungary’s Speaker of Parliament Laszlo Kover said he insisted on his plan to visit Romania on Tuesday.
Earlier on Monday, Romanian Senate Speaker Vasile Blaga and House of Representatives Speaker Roberta Anastase asked him to postpone his visit after the country’s upcoming local elections.
In a letter of response addressed to the Romanian house speakers, Kover said he would pay an unofficial visit to Romania, a friendly country belonging to the Schengen zone, as a private individual, a politician, an honorary chairman of the officially registered ethnic Hungarian MPP party and last but not least as an EU citizen but not in the capacity of a public dignitary.
Kover noted that, prior to various elections, Romanian politicians had paid similar visits to Moldova and Spain to support local Romanian political forces democratically.
Kover expressed hope that he could dispel the political concerns, and asked the Romanian side to inform him immediately if there was any legal obstacle to his planned visit.
In an open letter, Blaga and Anastase assured Kover that he was a welcome guest, but also said they wished his activities in Romania stayed “within the well-defined framework of bilateral relations”. They added that “any direct impact on (Romania’s) democratic processes” would run against the European spirit and hinder objectives of the ethnic Hungarian minority.
Signatories to the letter called it crucial for Romania’s Hungarian community to participate in the local elections “free of any influencing”.
Kover is scheduled to arrive in Romania’s Szekler Land on Tuesday afternoon to attend an MPP rally.
Kover attended MPP events in Romania between May 24 and 27, including a commemoration of ethnic Hungarian author Jozsef Nyiro. On that occasion, Kover criticised the reluctance of Romanian authorities to grant permission to the re-burial of the late author in his native Odorheiu Secuiesc, and called the Romanian government’s attitude “unfriendly, uncivilised, barbaric”.
On Saturday, Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta called on his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban to distance himself from Kover’s remark, to which Orban’s press chief responded that Hungary considered the affair as one of reverence rather than of a political nature.