Transylvania outraged at Romanian party president’s nationalist remarks

Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban gestures while waiting for the result of a no-confidence vote in parliament in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. Romania's centrist government led by centrist Prime Minister Ludovic Orban lost a no-confidence vote in parliament on Wednesday, a development that raises the prospect of early elections. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

According to Hunor Kelemen, President of the ethnic Hungarian party RMDSZ in Romania, the rhetoric of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu was echoed by Ludovic Orban, chairman of the leading Romanian ruling party, when he explained at Sunday’s assembly of the National Liberal Party in Harghita County that the investments could significantly change Szeklerland’s ethnic composition.

The president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) reacted to the statements of Ludovic Orban, who also holds the presidency of the lower house of the Romanian parliament.

According to Kelemen, Ludovic Orban’s statement indicates that the politician cannot rid himself of the way of thinking inherited from the 1970s and 1980s.

“To say that the goal of economic development is to change ethnic proportions – Ceaușescu wanted just that with industrialization”, Kelemen told news portal Kelemen, who also holds the position of Deputy Prime Minister, added:

“If you want to invest for such a purpose, you should rather avoid Szeklerland”. Kelemen also objected to a statement by Orban that his party deliberately withheld investments in Hungarian-inhabited Harghita County because RMDSZ believed it could “better control its constituents if they are dependent”.

Kelemen said that Orban pretended “as if he had just come from another planet, and with that he was looking down on the Hungarian voters in Transylvania”. He noted that the RMDSZ can also represent the Hungarians of Transylvania and Szeklerland because it has been receiving the support of the community for thirty years.

Orban’s “silly statement” is unworthy of a party president who should know the situation in every region of the country, Kelemen said.

On Sunday, Orban promised investments in Harghita County, Szeklerland, which is 85 percent Hungarian-populated, and stated:

“If the region is developed to its full potential, it will be seen that the ethnic composition can be significantly changed […]. If productive capacities are developed here and labor is needed, it is clear that job seekers will come as well.”

Title image: Ludovic Orban, President of the Romanian liberal PNL party. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

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