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Nov 13, 2019 - Zoltán Kovács

Hungarian opposition exports its political fight to the US

Opposition leader briefs US Congress on “abuses of the rule of law” and PM Orbán’s “ever closer relationship with world dictators”.

The distinguished members of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the House of Representatives will see, we trust, her ‘background briefing note’ as the political pamphleteering that it is.

But if you look at the witnesses listed on the formal program of today’s hearing, it’s less than reassuring.

Taking it upon herself as the only Hungarian member of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the United States and seizing upon the political opportunity in the US Congressional hearing to be held today, founding member of the left-liberal Momentum party and member of the European Parliament Katalin Cseh, in a Facebook post, announced that she has sent a background briefer about all that’s not well in Hungary, attaching three recommendations for the kind of conditions that NATO should impose on wayward member states.

This from a party that won only three percent of the vote in Hungary’s 2018 national parliamentary elections. Momentum has precisely zero MPs in the Hungarian Parliament. You gotta hand it to her. Ms. Cseh has cheeks.

The hearing, however, lists as witnesses “Hungary experts” at the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group: Melissa Hooper and Susan Corke (whose anti-Orbán activism I already noted in a series of posts here and here). Other speakers will include former Polish President Lech Wałęsa, Freedom House researcher Nate Schenkkan, and Matthias Matthijs, senior fellow for Europe at the Council on Foreign Relations. All this to ensure the “fair and balanced” consideration of the facts.

It’s all a little unfortunate, considering that we’re talking about the Committee on Foreign Relations of the US House of Representatives. But in the face of all this static – and the determined anti-Orbán Government bias among certain liberal members of the US Congress – we’re determined to not let it get in the way of what are now excellent US-Hungary relations.