Court should reinstate former Transylvanian bishop’s state award

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The Romanian Supreme Court has allowed for the appeal of former Bishop László Tőkés, an ethnic Hungarian, and ordered the Bucharest Regional Court to re-examine the way he was stripped of Romania’s highest civilian recognition back in 2016, daily Magyar Nemzet writes.

Tőkés (69), was awarded the Knight of the Order of the Star of Romania in 2009, the 20th anniversary of the 1989 revolt that led to the toppling and execution of communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu. At the time, Tőkés was a Reform priest in Temesvár (Timișoara), and after news spread that the dreaded secret police, the Securitate, wanted to remove him from the city, his home became the focal point of protests, which over the course of just a few days spread throughout the entire country.

In 2013, Tőkés — an MEP at the time — suggested that Transylvania come under Hungarian protection. Subsequently, then Prime Minister Victor Ponta initiated proceedings to strip him of his award for anti-Romanian actions, which eventually happened in 2016 under President Klaus Iohannis.

That same year, Tőkés launched a legal action to annul the president’s decision, but the Bucharest Regional Court rejected it. Tőkés’s legal representative, Előd Kincses, said the Romanian Supreme Court’s decision now means that his client’s award will be reinstated. He said that under Romanian law, state awards can only be withdrawn if someone becomes unworthy of them by actual deeds, whereas Tőkés only expressed his personal opinion regarding Transylvania.     

Title image: Former Protestant Bishop László Tőkés. (Source:


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