European People’s Party finally suspends Fidesz from its ranks

Despite Viktor Orbán’s half-hearted letters of apology to members of the European People’s about his most recent anti-Soros, anti-Juncker and anti-migrant campaigns, an expression of regret for employing the term “useful idiots” when referring to his Christian Democratic partners in the EU and a pledge to stop harassing Central European University, the EPP appears to have had enough and has finally voted to suspend Fidesz’s membership.

Photo credit: Alexandros Michailidis

The EPP voted by a massive margin to suspend Hungary’s ruling party: 190 votes in favour of a suspension to just 3 opposed. This is a temporary suspension, as the EPP launches an investigation into Hungary’s dictatorial ruling party. During this period, Fidesz politicians are barred from attending any party meetings, they have no voting rights and may not propose candidates for any posts.

A group of three from the EPP will now investigate Fidesz, as well as the state of the rule of law in Hungary under the Orbán regime. They will be in communication with a delegation of three representing Fidesz. The three representing the EPP include Hermann van Rompuy, Wolfgang Schüssel and Hans-Gert Pöttering. The Hungarian ruling party will be represented by Katalin Novák, József Szájer and Judit Varga. It is worth noting here that Fidesz had agreed to this temporary suspension from the EPP and to the investigation. It appears as though this was a compromise solution, thus avoiding a permanent expulsion. Fidesz is keen to communicate this as something less than a defeat and embarrassment for the Hungarian regime.

Mr. Orbán, speaking after the suspension, noted that just two months before the European Parliament election, the EPP has given left-centre opposition parties a huge gift. That said, Fidesz’s propaganda media is presenting this development as an instance where Fidesz itself demanded that it be suspended for a period of time from the EPP, rather than embarrassing punitive action against the wayward Budapest regime taken by its own allies.

Meanwhile in Bern, Switzerland, Fidesz politician and Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament received a rather cold welcome on Wednesday. László Kövér was on an official visit. Shortly after his introduction by the Speaker, most members of the Social Democratic and Green factions left parliament in protest against the Orbán regime.

Increasingly, Viktor Orbán and his accomplices have become pariahs within the European Union.

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