In an attempt to take the lead in the discussions about the EU top jobs ahead of a Tuesday gathering of the EU-28’s leaders, the German-born lead candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP), Manfred Weber, invited the leaders of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Udo Bullmann, the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE+) Guy Verhofstadt, and the Greens co-leaders Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts for talks to convince them to support his candidacy.
“Τhe votes of Fidesz are coming from the Hungarian people, we got 52% of the public support back at home. It shows that Manfred Weber looks at Hungarian people as secondary citizens, which is unacceptable, which we reject…Hungarian people are not of less value than any other citizens of any other member state. So based on this position we cannot support him,” said Szijjártó.
Hungary’s ruling right-wing Fidesz party won 52.14% of votes in the European parliamentary election on Sunday on a hardline anti-immigration platform, scoring a big victory. Fidesz came in well ahead of the leftist Democratic Coalition, which was second with 16.26%, according to the national election office. The Momentum party was third with 9.92%. The Socialists won 6.68%, while the nationalist Jobbik got 6.44% of votes, both weakening significantly.
Just days before Hungarians went to the polls in the European elections, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán called Weber a “weak leader,” during an interview with a German daily.
“If you want to be a leader, you have to fight for your beliefs,” Orbán told Bild in an interview published 24 May. “As far as I can see, Manfred Weber is a decent man, but he is not willing to fight for his own values.”
That sentiment was reiterated by Szijjártó shortly after the results of the election were tallied, who said, “I can tell you one thing for sure, we do not consider any Spitzenkandidat suitable as the president of the European Commission. There should be someone else. But who else? I can’t answer that question.”