In the absence of the governing parties, the special session of parliament initiated by the opposition, which was to have included a vote on Sweden’s NATO accession, lacked a quorum. At Monday’s session proposed by the Socialists and backed by the Democratic Coalition (DK), Momentum, Jobbik, Párbeszéd and LMP, lawmakers were set to discuss two opposition proposals as well as Sweden’s NATO accession. Parliament debated the latter last March, but the ratification vote was not held.
Addressing the session, LMP lawmaker Máté Kanász-Nagy called it “sad” that none of the members of government were in attendance, adding it was “embarrassing” that the governing parties kept on blocking Sweden’s NATO accession without giving a reasonable explanation.
Bence Tordai, the group-leader of Párbeszéd, cited Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s pledge that parliament would ratify Sweden’s accession “on the first possible” occasion. He said the government had not been guided “by Hungary’s national interest, but by something else”, adding that “we should not forget who it is in both the EU and NATO who represents the interests of an aggressor [who started] a war”.
Előd Novák, deputy head of Mi Hazánk, called for Sweden’s accession to be vetoed, arguing that its accession “would be another step towards a [third] world war and a provocation”. “Maintaining a neutral buffer zone between Russia and NATO would serve to preserve the fragile balance,” he added.
Koloman Brenner, group leader of Jobbik-Conservatives, said the “sad game” played by the government against Finland and Sweden’s NATO accession went against Hungary’s national interest. “Viktor Orbán and Fidesz is becoming Putin’s puppet in the eyes of our NATO allies and the European public,” he said, calling the absence of Fidesz lawmakers at the session “shameful and a disgrace”.