Berenyi Steps Down as SMK Leader, Party to Be Led by Szigeti for While

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Berenyi resigns from SMK leader post (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, March 8 (TASR) – Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) chairman Jozsef Berenyi stepped down from this post on Tuesday as a consequence of the party’s repeated failure to make it into parliament in Saturday’s general election, TASR learnt from the SMK press department on Tuesday.

Activities related to the party leadership will be taken over by head of the SMK Republican Board, Laszlo Szigeti. In the interests of stability and the smooth operation of the party, the remaining members of the party leadership will retain their functions until a national party congress is convened.

The SMK leadership concurred that ethnic-Hungarian parties should seek voters’ trust on a joint slate. SMK is ready to hold talks with them. “Voter turnout in regions inhabited by ethnic Hungarians was lower than elsewhere. SMK ascribes this to the fact that a policy of separation has caused passivity among a certain part of the electorate. The message is clear. Voters want to choose their MPs from a single joint slate. In the interests of implementing this message, SMK is ready to sit at the negotiating table with relevant partners,” stated the press department.

The leadership also agreed that the SMK Republican Board will meet on April 2 to analyse the election results. In addition, a republican conference should be convened (with a proposed date of June 11). “The republican conference will be preceded by local and district election meetings in April and May,” said SMK.

At the same time SMK thinks that the general election has led to a difficult situation. “Majority nationalism has strengthened its position in the House thanks to the presence of the Slovak National Party [SNS] and Kotleba-People’s Party Our Slovakia [LSNS], while the number of ethnic-Hungarian MPs has further decreased. Representing the interests of the Hungarian minority becomes extraordinarily difficult under such conditions,” stated SMK.