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The Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania Holds Both Ends of the Stick

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28 Iul 2004 - 00:00

POLITICS - July 28 2004

The Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (DUHR) wants to be a partner to the governing coalition no matter the outcome of the general elections in the fall, hence it is negotiating with both the ruling Social Democrat Party (SDP) and the opposition Alliance of the National Liberal Party (NLP) and Democrat Party (DP).

By SILVIU SERGIU

While holding talks with the SDP for a continuation of the current political arrangement, in case SDP would win, DUHR also deems the NLP-DP Alliance as "an equally serious partner" for talks.

The news came from DUHR senator Peter Kovacs Eckstein, who made the statement. For the time being a first round of negotiations with the NLP-DP Alliance was postponed due to [DP leader] Traian Basescu [also mayor of Bucharest] who summoned an extraordinary session of the city’s local council. But negotiations are on their way.
"We never wanted to isolate ourselves. We are ahead of the fall elections and DUHR is not a party [but a collection of] hence it is not indebted to any particular ideology. It follows that given the results of the elections to come it is normal for DUHR to contact all the other political forces taking part in the run. And the NLP-DP Alliance is a talking partner to reckon," said Eckstein.

The first signs of a warm-up between the DUHR and the NLP-DP Alliance were shown in the bid for the City Hall of Cluj city. Then the DUHR supported the DP candidate Emil Boc for the top position of city mayor, and the NLP-DP Alliance to get the presidency of the County Council following the local elections in June.

As for the cooperation between the SDP and the DUHR, the two party leaders, that is PM Adrian Nastase and Marko Bela, respectively, met on Monday to evaluate the results the two political entities had in the local elections.
Titus Corlatean, the SDP spokesman, said a new political agreement between the two is self-evident will occur.
"Both parties showed willingness to continue and develop the current political agreement [which makes the DUHR a junior partner in the governing coalition] for this year, but also with a view to [the fall] parliamentary and presidential elections," said Corlatean.

On August 24 the leaderships of DUHR and SDP will meet again to map the details of this future cooperation. The meeting will also be an opportunity for the two parties to assess the results of their cooperation so far.

Marko Bela, the DUHR leader, stated yesterday that he had talks with the SDP leader Adrian Nastase but that it is up to the DUHR to decide, after the elections, if will continue its cooperation with the SDP.
"We may continue to work with the SDP, since this was a good thing, but the final decision will be struck after the elections. We also may cooperate with the NLP-PD Alliance too, but there still are things to clarify," said Marko, who ruled out any cooperation with the Greater Romania Party [nationalist, led by Corneliu Vadim Tudor].

Translation: ANCA PADURARU

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