Magyar's followers support him taking up his seat in EP

June 18. 2024. – 10:32 AM



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Péter Magyar launched a vote on TISZA Party's website on Monday morning on whether he should take up his mandate in the European Parliament for the next five-year EU term. Before the elections, Magyar had said that if their results make both possible, he wasn’t sure whether he would take up his mandate in the EP, or sit in the Hungarian capital’s assembly.

He posted the results of the vote on his Instagram page on Monday evening, according to which a total of 91 315 people had submitted their vote.

The result was quite clear: 75.6 percent said yes to the question, with only 24.4 percent rejecting it. This means that during the next term, Péter Magyar will be a member of the European Parliament.

TISZA Party's vice-president had announced on his Facebook page on Sunday that he wanted to ask his followers for their opinion on an important matter, but he did not provide any further details at the time. He added that he would accept the outcome of the vote regardless of what it would be.

Before the elections, Magyar had said he would not sit in the European Parliament, but would only lead TISZA's list in a symbolic sense. Later, however, he listed several reasons why he thought it would be worthwhile for him to become an MEP. He argued that achieving political results within the European People's Party would be easier if he were to lead TISZA Party's delegation himself, and that they could also expect to obtain more serious positions within the EPP, such as the chairing of important committees, if TISZA’s leader were to be the one to apply for them. "And last but not least, György Hölvényi, the Fidesz-KDNP MEP has also made his resignation from the EPP group conditional on my joining the group," he added.

Negotiations between Péter Magyar and the EPP had already begun earlier. Last Friday, Manfred Weber, President of the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) and leader of its group in the European Parliament, visited Budapest and held talks with Magyar on how TISZA's seven elected MEPs could join the EPP's group in the European Parliament.

The only problem is that the inclusion of the TISZA Party would put Péter Magyar's party and Hungary’s smaller governing party, the Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP) in the same group. Fidesz left the group in 2021, after being suspended, and then also left the group of European parties behind it, but KDNP's György Hölvényi has remained in both. Minister of the Prime Minister's Office Gergely Gulyás said last week that it was out of the question for the TiSZA and the KDNP to be members of the EPP at the same time.

Weber first met with KDNP President Zsolt Semjén on Friday. After the meeting, Semjén said: "We have made it clear – I stress that in the spirit of correction and honesty – that if Péter Magyar is admitted to the EPP or the TISZA Party is admitted to the EPP, KDNP will have no other option but to leave. I stress that we have not taken the decision to leave, but have clearly stated that it is unacceptable for us to have Péter Magyar in the parliamentary group and it is unacceptable for us to see the TISZA Party in the European People's Party."

Tuesday's decision will be on the parliamentary group, not about TISZA joining the EPP party family. With Magyar's decision to join the EPP group in the European Parliament, based on Semjén's and Hölvényi's previous statements, it also seems decided that the KDNP will leave the group if Tuesday's vote approves the inclusion of the TISZA MEPs. On Saturday, Magyar wrote that the EPP had not set any conditions for TISZA to join the EPP.

According to current figures, the EPP will have by far the biggest parliamentary group in the incoming European Parliament. According to preliminary calculations, the group can expect to win at least 190 seats out of 720, with the Socialists being in second place with 136.

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