Budapest, June 6 (MTI) – Zsolt Semjén, Hungary’s deputy prime minister, has congratulated ethnic Hungarian winners in Romania’s recent municipal elections.
Speaking at the closing event of this year’s Kőrösi Csoma and Petőfi programmes, Semjén said that over 200 ethnic Hungarian candidates were elected mayors in Sunday’s election. The politician made a special mention of the RMDSZ party, which had won mayoral positions in Miercurea Ciuc (Csíkszereda) and Sfantu Gheorghe (Sepsiszentgyörgy), the two largest cities in Szeklerland.
Semjén said that RMDSZ’s victory was “especially important in light of increasingly brutal anti-Hungarian sentiments in Romania” and insisted that ethnic Hungarians were being “harassed through the (Romanian) judiciary”. He added that the Romanian side had “intimidated Hungarian candidates to deter them from running in the election”.
Concerning the two cultural programmes, Semjén said that the young volunteers participating were “representatives of the whole of the Hungarian nation”. He said that participants were instrumental in helping ethnic kin in procedures to obtain Hungarian citizenship.
State secretary Árpád János Potápi said that under the Kőrösi Csoma Programme 100 volunteers had visited Hungarian communities in Canada, South America, various European countries, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. He added that the Petőfi Programme involved 50 participants, and the scheme was similarly successful in reviving communities of the Hungarian diaspora.