Hungarian parliament lacks quorum for Sweden’s NATO vote

Hungarian parliament. (MTI/Noémi Bruzák)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

On the initiative of the opposition, Speaker of the House László Kövér convened an extraordinary session of Hungarian Parliament on Monday to vote on Sweden’s ascension into NATO, but the session ended prematurely, as there was no quorum.

The session was initiated by the Socialist Party (MSZP) and supported by the liberal DK, Momentum, right-wing Jobbik, the tiny Dialogue and LMP groups, and one independent MP. In addition to the final vote on the bill on Sweden’s accession to NATO, two opposition-initiated proposals were requested to be added to the agenda. The proposal on Sweden’s accession to NATO was debated in parliament on March 1 last year and only the final vote remains.

Fidesz announced last week that the government parties would not participate in the opposition-initiated session. The extraordinary session of the parliament ended after the speeches before the agenda because there was no quorum.

“At the very beginning of the regular parliamentary session, the Swedish ratification of NATO could take place, but this would require a meeting between the two prime ministers in Budapest,” Fidesz caucus leader Máté Kocsis pointed out. He wrote on his Facebook page that if accession is important to the Swedes, they will come to Hungary, just as they did to Turkey. The Hungarian parliament is currently in recess and will reconvene on Feb. 15.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson was already invited by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, but so far, there was no sign that he would accept it in the immediate future. All but one of the MPs speaking during the short session pointed out it was in Hungary’s interest to ratify Sweden’s NATO membership.

The only exception was Előd Novák, leader of the far-right Jobbik party, who said that “we (Hungary) must veto Sweden’s NATO accession as it would be a step towards World War III.”

After the Turkish Parliament ratified Sweden’s NATO membership, the Nordic country’s accession now only hinges on the Hungarian vote.

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