Six members of the opposition LMP parliamentary group on Wednesday held a joint press conference with the purpose of showing unity, after former co-leader Bernadett Szél and Szabolcs Szabo quit the group this week.
László Lóránt Keresztes, the green party’s co-leader, said he wanted to avoid any further splits in the group.
He said LMP group had been taken by surprise by Szél’s departure.
Keresztes, who is also the group leader, added the party was not after her parliamentary mandate since she had done a lot for LMP in recent years and was expected to continue to make use of her mandate going forward. Szél, he conceded, had diverged from the party on a number of political issues, and the party’s one-time nominee for the post of prime minister had explained her decision to them much in the same way as she had done in public.
Recently, Szél has said she disagreed with LMP MEPs who withheld their support for the Sargentini report. Keresztes insisted LMP had debated the matter since early in the summer and its leadership decided unanimously not to vote for the report, even if it agreed with its basic message.
He said today’s debate in parliament on the report by Dutch green MEP Judith Sargentini was “political theatre” and overture to a fake EU campaign which the left also took part in.
Whereas Fidesz’s slogan is “Europe’s future is at stake”, the left, he said, would present the dichotomy of “Orbán or Europe”. LMP, for its part, will not get into this game, he added.
Keresztes said another former co-leader, András Schiffer, would not return to the party, saying the lawyer-turned-politician only provides the party with legal representation and harboured no intention of returning.
Szél announced on her Facebook page on Monday that she was quitting the LMP party and also resigning from the party’s parliamentary group, saying:
“I have to change because the policies I wish to represent can only be fully carried out if we part ways with mutual respect.”
In August, Szél said she would resign as group and co-leader of the party after LMP’s ethics committee barred her from holding any positions within the party for three years. It did not order her to resign as co-leader, however.
LMP’s ethics committee handed down its decision after the party’s leadership held talks with other opposition parties on cooperating in the April general election and withdrew multiple of LMP’s individual candidates in their favour despite the party’s congresses having passed several resolutions prohibiting this.
On Monday, another LMP party group member, Szabolcs Szabó, on Facebook also announced his resignation. He was not an LMP member and made it to parliament on behalf of the now defunct Együtt party.
Featured image: MTI