Hungarian sides win EP mandate in Romanian vote

Elections

According to the exit poll at the EP election held in Romania yesterday, ethnic Hungarians’ party RMDSz reached 6.3%, which equals at least two mandates.

The opposition Democratic Party (PD) on Sunday won the first elections of European Parliament in Romania, obtaining 31.5% of the votes, according to exit poll carried out by Center for the Study of Opinions and Market. The PD is followed by the Social Democratic Party, the largest opposition and also the largest party in Romania’s national parliament with 21.1% while the ruling National Liberal Party (PNL) with 15.6%. The Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) obtained 6.9%, followed by the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (RMDSz) with 6.3%. The other eight parties in the race for the European Parliament did not pass the 5% electoral threshold needed to enter the seat distribution stage. “We are the most powerful party in Romania,” said the PD leader Emil Boc, stressing that the party’s supporting share in the population has increased.

The elections are the first ever held in Romania after the eastern European country entered the EU on Jan. 1, 2007. The total number of Romanian citizens, who are eligible to vote, is around 18.26 million and a low turnout in the election has been recorded. As many as 17,340 polling stations are open between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. throughout Romania for the elections. Thirteen parties have entered the race for the European Parliament.

If RMDSz and their opposition László Tőkés, who received 3.7%, had managed to agree and Tőkés agreed to run for MEP on the party’s list, Romania could send 6 Hungarians to the EP, said chairman Béla Markó. György Frunda blamed Tőkés and Hungary’s opposition leader Viktor Orbán, who had been campaigning to support Tőkés, for dividing the votes of the Hungarian minority. Tőkés considers the results the joint victory of the ethnic Hungarians living in the Transylvania region and proposed starting discussions on the future this week. It was the first time the 1.5 million ethnic Hungarians had had to choose between RMDSz and another Hungarian candidate.

The Romanian participation was low, while that of Hungarians high, which enhanced the chances of both sides emerging with seats in the EP. The Hungarian candidates received 9% of all the votes cast, while their ratio among those eligible to vote is 6.1%. The referendum held at the same time, which was initiated by President Traian Basescu on modifying the election law, was not valid because of low turnout, so the list-based system will remain in effect, which favors the smaller parties, RMDSz included. (people.com.cn, Magyar Hírlap)

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