The party of Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Victor Orban has been suspended from its political group in Brussels as concerns grow over his disregard for the rule of law.
European People’s Party (EPP) delegates today voted overwhelmingly to exclude Orban’s Fidesz party from its meetings, strip it of voting rights and the ability to propose candidates for posts.
The vote, with 190 for and three against, comes after Fidesz angered the EPP by making posters depicting European Commission president and EPP member Jean-Claude Juncker as a puppet of billionaire George Soros.
The posters, which claimed Juncker was being cajoled into supporting uncontrolled immigration to Hungary, caused thirteen parties to call for Fidesz’s expulsion.
“It is no secret that there are serious disagreements… on the issue of migration, the protection of Christian culture and the future of Europe,” Orban wrote to Wouter Beke, the leader of Belgium’s Flemish Christian Democrats in a bid to save his membership.
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“It is also no secret that we do not wish to change our position on these issues. Yet I do not consider it reasonable to solve such disagreements by expelling a party from our political family,” he wrote.
EPP president Joseph Daul said: “Fidesz will be suspended with immediate effect and until further notice following today’s vote of EPP members.”