Momentum MPs announce they will take the oath at the Parliament’s inaugural meeting, but will then walk out
April 29. 2022. – 11:00 AM
Although their previously announced conditions have not been met, Momentum MPs will be attending the Parliament’s inaugural meeting on Monday. The party’s announcement stated that they will only take the oath, but will then boycott the rest of the meeting by walking out.
The reason they give for this decision is that in their opinion, the April 3rd elections were not fair. “1,9 million of our compatriots authorized us to be their voice in Parliament and outside of it. While taking the oath serves the former, walking out of the room serves the latter purpose.” – they wrote. They also announced that their MPs will not be accepting any parliamentary roles (vice president of Parliament, notary, committee chairman or committee vice president).
“House Speaker László Kövér’s threats about Momentum missing out on these positions are in vain. We refuse to be Fidesz’ “ornamental opposition”.
Previously, the party had set five conditions for taking part in the inaugural meeting where the elected MPs take their oath:
- The governing parties should – in agreement with the opposition parties – change the electoral laws and the laws on the powers and elections of local governments.
- The leaders of the public broadcasting service are to be appointed by consensus of all the parliamentary parties, thus ensuring that the public media services operate independently and without prejudice.
- Members of Parliament should be given back their powers to monitor the operation of public institutions.
- All parliamentary parties should jointly start drafting a new law which will guarantee the fairness of elections and the money that can be spent during an election campaign.
- A real dialogue should be started between the government and the trade unions, and negotiations about the right to strike should begin between the government, the opposition and the representative unions.
“As the elected group leader of Momentum, it is my firm position that the opposition has no place at the parliament’s inaugural session, it mustn’t even symbolically suggest that the elections were clean and democratic” – wrote András Fekete-Győr, Momentum’s group leader on Monday in his letter to Máté Kocsis.
Fidesz’ group leader reacted by saying that “the time of the oath taking is set. Anyone who isn’t there at the prescribed time accepts that they will not have a say in when the next available time will be” – this will be recommended by the Speaker of the House. He added that “Anyone who doesn’t take the oath, cannot be elected for any other position either, as they would not officially be MPs”.
If Momentum’s MPs were to choose not to take the oath, they would not receive a salary, they wouldn’t be able to use the powers granted to MPs, and their group would not receive state funding either.
“It’s no secret: anyone who does not take the oath at the inaugural meeting will not be able to have any positions in Parliament”
– István Hollik, Fidesz’ communications director confirmed later on his Facebook page.
Opposition MPs are quite divided about their approach to parliamentary work: Ákos Hadházy, who will be joining Momentum’s group believes it would be morally more acceptable if they didn’t even accept their credentials, while several opposition parties believe they need all the resources available.
Update: On Friday morning, Hadházy published a long statement on his Facebook page explaining why he considers it tragic that Momentum will attend the Parliament’s inaugural meeting. He wrote:
“Unfortunately, there are only two options available: it was either Fidesz or Momentum who retreated.”
The other parties have already signaled that they would be taking the oath, and would be attending the inaugural meeting. “We intend to sit through all the protocol-dictated events, from the national anthem to the end, as people who had a decent upbringing” – Péter Ungár, leader of LMP’s group told Telex, for example.
No agreement could be reached on the distribution of committee seats in the negotiations preparing the forming of the Parliament, so they will be proposed by House Speaker László Kövér, and adopted by the Fidesz-majority Parliament.
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