Fidesz leaves EPP
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Hungary's governing Fidesz will announce on Wednesday that it is leaving the European People's Party (EPP).
According to state news wire MTI, conservative news portal Origo learned that Fidesz will announce its departure from the EPP in the morning.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a letter addressed to EPP head Manfred Weber on Sunday that Fidesz would leave the party if provisions approved by party leaders at a meeting on Friday are put to a vote.
"As the chairman of Fidesz, it is my responsibility to ensure our voters full representation. Hence, I cannot accept the restriction of the rights necessary for our MEPs to conduct their tasks. That would be deeply undemocratic," Orbán said in the letter posted by Minister for Families Katalin Novák on Facebook.
In her post, Novák said EPP MEPs, "in the bubble of Brussels", are "working on how they can exclude Fidesz from their ranks".
"As they cannot push through with the exclusion under the current rules, they now want to change the rules - with retroactive effect," she added.
The rights of Fidesz in the EPP were suspended in the spring of 2019.
UPDATE - Fidesz leaves EPP
Fidesz informed the EPP that its MEPs were resigning from the group via a letter to faction head Manfred Weber. The letter, signed by Orbán himself, was published on Twitter today by Fidesz vice president Katalin Novák.
"I hereby inform you that Fidesz MEPs resign their membership in the EPP Group," Orbán wrote.
Fidesz left the EPP after the group voted to adopt a change in its suspension rules, which cleared the way to the expulsion of entire parties instead of only individual members.
"The amendments to the rules of the EPP Group are clearly a hostile move against Fidesz and our voters. Limiting our MEPs' ability to carry out their duties as elected Members of the European Parliament deprives Hungarian voters from their democratic rights. This is anti-democratic, unjust and unacceptable. Therefore, the governing body of Fidesz has decided to leave the EPP Group immediately," Orbán wrote.
EPP remains the largest group in the European Parliament.
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