Political representation of Hungarians in Romania. About “mutual understanding and respect”
|19/08/2017||Autor Cetatean Categorii: Editoriale|
Published by @Paganel
Copyright: @Paganel and PoliteiaWorld. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Licence
On August 4, 2017, the leader of Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (HDUR, Romanian abbreviation: UDMR), Hunor Kelemena declared as recorded in
the following: “I am sure that if the Romanian state would not have tried in the last 100 years to permanently and openly to assimilate minorities and to liquidate anything that is not Romanian, then today’s generation would have positioned itself differently on this subject. But because between the two world wars and during the Ceausescu regime this intention was unequivocal, and after 1989 it was often possible to infer the same intention without an explicit statement, it is obvious that the fears are being renewed: the Romanians are afraid that we want to gain back Transylvania, and the Hungarians fear that the Romanians want us to gradually dilute our ethnic identity. Obviously these fears are anchored in the past and in the future and we do not see the possibilities that we could fundamentally change something.”
Let’s see how Mr. Hunor Kelemen competes with Pinocchio and the Baron Münchhausen and highlight how we, Romanians, have “assimilated” the minorities in the past almost 100 years, based on the Romanian elections since 1919. According to the table below (Table 1), during the interwar period, the Hungarians had between 2 (in 1922) and 19 deputies (in 1937) in the Romanian Parliament.
After the Second World War, in 1946 and 1948, the former Madosz (communistoid and communistophile) was renamed the Hungarian People’s Union (Romanian – Uniunea Populară Maghiară = UPM) and was the most faithful ally of the PCR (Romanian Communist Party), obtaining 29 mandates (out of 421) in 1946 and 28 (out of 414) in 1948. After the “dissolution” of the UPM, in the “Front” (Front of Popular Democracy – Romanian abbreviation: FDP: 1952-1965, Front of Socialist Unity – FUS: 1969-1975, Front of Democracy and Socialist Unity – FDUS: 1980-1989) had continued the tradition of election of ”Romanians with Hungarian nationality” deputies in the Communist “parliament” called “Great National Assembly” (an offensive epithet, insulting the great meeting of the Transylvanian Romanians from Alba-Iulia, in 1 December 1918!) as seen in the same table. What can be observed is that, following the nationalist-communist color of the Ceausescu regime –, after 1969 there is a tendency to diminish the number of Hungarian ethnic MPs in the communist parliament, but not an “assimilation” of them as “Romanians”!
After the fall of the communist regime, the Hungarians also entered in the Council of the National Salvation Front – Romanian abbreviation: CFSN (December 1989 – February 1990) with two representatives of UDMR (out of 41 – according to the data gathered by the author) and in the Provisional Council of National Union – Romanian: CPUN 1990), with 5 representatives of the same formation (from 234 – again personally collected data).
Beginning with the May 1990 elections, UDMR entered in all parliamentary legislatures, having – as noted below – between 19 to 29 mandates. So “discriminated” were the Hungarians in Romania after 1990, which we “helped” them to continue to have representatives in the European Parliament since January 2007, most of them obtained by UDMR, but also by the reformed pastor Tökes László, who, in November 2007, was running and elected as independent!
Probably, the “discrimination” and the “lack” of “understanding and respect” towards the Hungarians should be “accounted” for by the UDMR’s participation in the government during 1996-2000 (together with Romanian Democratic Convention – CDR and with Social-Democratic Union – USD), in 2004-2008 with the Justice and Truth Alliance – Alianța DA or / and with National Liberal Party – PNL in 2007), in 2009-2012 (alongside Democratic-Liberal Party – PDL), and in 2012-2014 (alongside Social-Liberal Union – USL / Social-Democratic Party – PSD), being, between 2000-2004. From 2014 until today UDMR while outside the government was often times supporting of it for their own parochial interests … In fact, so “discriminated” was UDMR that in the period 1996-2014 they were partners in 8 government coalitions:
In fact, since the communist era, the Hungarians in Romania (and the minorities in general) have always benefited from representation in the Government, which continues after 1989. About the presence of Romanian ministers in the Budapest pre-war ministry … what can be said? That it was “beautiful, sublime, but … it was totally lacking!”. There was a Romanian presence in an Austro-Hungarian government, but that was of Romanians from Bucovina (which was not part of Transylvania), Petrino, and he was minister in the Austrian executive in Vienna! In contrast, during the communist period, three Hungarians were ministers in Bucharest, as well as four other representatives of other minorities. This presence of minorities in the Romanian Government has seen a significant increase after 1989: not less than 16 Hungarian ministers, plus 5 representatives from other minorities.
Conclusion: during all Romanian legislative elections from the period 1919-2016, the Hungarians HAD POLITICAL REPRESENTATION in the Parliament of Romania!
On the other hand, if we look at the situation of the Romanian minority (and of the minorities in Hungary in general), for the period 1867-1918, according to the official data of the legislative elections for the Budapest’s Parliament, we note a clear underrepresentation not only of the Romanians in the Dualist Hungarian legislature, but also of the other minorities! So, the Romanians in the Dualist Hungary were (under)represented by a percentage ranging from 0 (zero) and 3.63% to a share of Romanians of 16.1%), whereas the Hungarians in Romania had continuously the following weight:
In Parliament: 1919-1939: between 0.54% (1922 – immediately after the Union) and 4.91% (1937 – the last inter-war democratic elections);
1946-1989: between 4.6% (1985) and 8.06% (1952); not accidentally, the highest percentage of the Hungarian representation during this period was reached in 1952: UPM was the most faithful (and most important) ally of the Romanian Communist Party – PCR, and during the same period was created the “Hungarian Autonomous Region” (at Stalin’s order) ; In fact, the Hungarians’ friendship with the Communists is even older, dating back to the interwar period: in 1931, among the few elected representatives of the “Block of Workers and Peasants” – Romanian: Blocul Muncitorilor și Țăranilor = BMȚ (a communist-controlled party) was also the Hungarian Aladar Imre, elected in the counties of Satul Mare and Bihor (in the first meeting of the elected Parliament, the BMȚ mandates were invalidated).
After 1989: between 2.15 (CPUN) and 7.83% (2000): during this period, the share of UDMR exceeded the percentage of Hungarians in the total population (7.83% – the UDMR mandates in 2000-2004, versus 6,6% – the overall percentage of Hungarians in the country’s population!). During 1919-1939 the percentage of Hungarians was 8% (1930).
1946-1989: 9,26% (1948)-8,12% (1966), the decrease of the percentage being caused not by “assimilation” but by a traditionally lower birth rate of the Hungarians compared to the Romanians
After 1989: 7.12% (1992), 6.6% (2002), 6.2% (2002), again – in addition to the low birthrate (which, especially after 2000, also affects the Romanians) – a factor became the start of emigration of Hungarians (to Hungary, but also to other European countries), which explains this lower percentage.
In any case, viewed “in the mirror”, we do not think that the period 1867-1918 was more favorable to the Romanians (in Hungary) than it was for the Hungarians (in Romania) in the 1918-2016 period! As a last point: if, after the Vienna Dictate, to “fill in” the places in the Hungarian Horthyst Parliament, the Hungarians accepted that two Transylvanian Germans would represent the Transylvanian Saxons (done to “impress” the good ally Hitler), besides the 50 Hungarians from the Transylvanian Party, about half of the population of occupied Transylvanian (the Romanians from northern Transylvania) received NO REPRESENTATIVE!
As far as the other minorities are concerned, the Romanians even before the Union of the Romanian Lands with the Old Kingdom granted minority seats: in the autumn of 1917, about a quarter of the Chișinău National Council were allocated to minorities: Russians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Poles, Jews, Greeks, Armenians … Also, in November 1918, among the deputies of the General Congress of Bucovina were representatives of the Ukrainians, Germans and Poles. From the first inter-war national elections (1919), besides the Hungarians, the Germans, Jews, Poles, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Turks, elected either as independents or on their own, joined the Great Romanian Parliament (until 1939 inclusive!), as deputies to the lists of some Romanian parties (National Liberal Party – PNL, National Peasant Party – PNŢ, the People’s Party, the Romanian Social-Democratic Party), or on their own lists, of the German Party or the Jewish Party! Even in the communist era, along with UPM, as a communist ally, the Romanian Jewish Union was included, and after the abolition of the minority formations (1952), the German, Jewish, Ukrainian, Serbian, Slovak, Russian, Bulgarian representatives, etc. was elected. Since 1990, Romania is perhaps the only country in the world that allocates, ex officio, according to the Electoral Law, a place of every minority that participates in the elections but does not reach the electoral threshold. Thus, the formations of 11 minorities had 3 seats each in CPUN during February-May 1990 period, and from the first post-communist legislative elections, the group of national minorities (other than the Hungarian minority) included between 12 representatives (1990) and 20 (2000), with Germans, Poles, Ukrainians, Russians, Bulgarians, Serbs, Turks, Greeks, Armenians and others (see table above)! The culmination of “discrimination” towards minorities was reached in November 2014, when the Romanian electorate elected Klaus Iohannis, a representative of the German minority, as president, including a significant share of votes from Hungarian minority!
In contrast, in the “millenary” Hungary (of which Transylvania did not actually belong until 1867, being either autonomous voivodship in the Kingdom of Hungary – the 12th-15th centuries, or a principality under Ottoman suzerainty – between 1541-1699, or great principality directly subordinated to the Vienna court between 1699 and 1867!), although the minorities accounted for 46%, according to the Hungarian census of 1910 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_and_religious_composition_of_Austria-Hungary), “benefited” (if “benefited”!) by a ridiculously small number of parliamentary mandates. In the elections of 1892 and 1896, none of the three minorities had obtained mandates. It is also noted that, apart from the 1906 elections, the Germans did not gain any seats in the Parliament in Budapest after 1887, the Slovaks did not obtain anything before 1884 and in the case of Serbs – there are two intervals: 1869-1884 and 1901-1906. So, the Romanians had a maximum of 3.63% mandates in the legislature, the Germans – 3.33% (14 seats in 1869), the Serbs and the Slovaks – 1.21% each (in 1906). In fact, the 1906 elections represented the “record” of mandates for the Romanians (15), the Serbs and the Slovaks (5), the Germans also gathering 13 (Table 2), and the total 38 seats won by the minorities increased their share to 9.2% (one fifth of the percentage owned by all minorities).
According to the same table, the weights of the mentioned minorities according to the linguistic structure (1910) were: Romanians – 16,1%, Slovaks – 10,5%, Germans – 10,4%, Ruthenians / Ukrainians – 2,5%, Serbs – 2,5%. We no longer insist that the Ukrainians have never had parliamentary representation in Budapest, and the Jews are not even recorded in censuses (the linguistic structure was summed up to Hungarians, the only indication of their existence in the pre-war Hungarian censuses being the mosaic confession – in 1910, in Hungary was 4.9%). Nor are we questioning the accuracy of Magyar census data, which is clearly biased, in the face of an aggressive Hungarianization policy (which has made the proportion of Hungarians rising from 45 to 54 percent in half a century). On the one hand, the average of the four periods – the prewar period (dualist Hungary, 1867-1918), the interwar (1919-1939), the communist (1946-1985) and post-communist (1990-2016) – all three for Romania, it is noted that if in Hungary the average share of the mandates of minorities in the Parliament of Budapest is only one fifth of the percentage owned by minorities of the total population, in Romania the tendency is to equalize the percentage of mandates and the weight of minorities (representing, in the interwar period, one third of the percentage of Hungarians and one quarter of all minorities, reaching almost overlap / concordance in the current period). In addition, for the interwar Romania, the more modest percentage of mandates attributed to the minorities (present, however, continuously in the parliamentary political life of the epoch) is also explained by the revanchist, revisionist intentions of some neighbors (including Hungary), which was put into practice in 1940. On the other hand, the serious decrease in the number / share of parliamentary mandates of minorities other than Hungarians after 1975 can be explained by the serious diminution of some of these minorities: the Jews (whose departure started earlier, since the 1960s) and especially the Germans. We state that data for Hungary refers to the House of Representatives (Képviselőház), and those for Romania – to the 1919-1946 Assembly of Deputies, the Great National Assembly (1948-1989) and the Chamber of Deputies (after 1989).
Under these conditions, who do they discriminate against, Mr Hunor, and what “mutual understanding and respect” are we talking about? Those who only come from the Romanians to the Hungarians, but not the other way round? Well, then, where is “reciprocity”? Respect for being respected, dear leader of UDMR and dear Hungarian fellow citizens!
We have “prepared” an example of the multi-secular peaceful coexistence, of the main communities in Transylvania: the story of the name Sighișoara, which applies to a hundred-year-old Transylvanian inhabited bourg that has entered UNESCO’s Patrimony. Thus, following the appeal of the king of Hungary, Géza II in 1280, a group of Germanophones from the Lower Rhine region (the Frankonians) settled on the valley of Târnava Mare River, in the vicinity of a Romanian village called Şesul (meaning the plain), located on a terrace of the mentioned river (the Sighișoara born Georg Krauss states that in 1191, the area of the present locality was inhabited). Germanophones colonized on the neighboring hill called the fortification Schäsbrich, Šesburh – in Saxon, which became Schäßburg – in German, with the meaning of the Burg / fortress near the village of Şesul. The Hungarians /Hungarophones of the neighboring Odorhei transposed the name in their language into the form Segesvár, which the toponym returned to the Sighișoara form in Romanian (first attested in 1435). Now come the question: whose name is Sighișoara? The answer: to the TRANSYLVANIANS, both Romanians, Hungarians and Germans!
aIn order to see Mr. Hunor Kelemen that we, the Romanians, know how to respect those we have been living with for centuries, we have used the Hungarian anthroponyms everywhere, naming first the surname, not the first name, as is the tradition among the Hungarians, and not in accordance with the European (Western) custom, which we also call for, that first of all to use the first name and then the surname!
Voicu Bodocan (2001), Etnie, confesiune și comportament electoral în Transilvania, Presa Universitară Clujeană, Cluj (present the political-electoral peculiarities of Transylvania)
Remus Crețan (1999), Etnie, confesiune și comportament electoral în Banat (sfârșitul sec XIX–sec XX): Studiu geografic, Editura Universității de Vest, Timișoara (highlight the electoral specificity of Banat)
Alexandru Ilieș (2000), Etnie, confesiune și comportament electoral în Crișana și Maramureș – sfârșitul sec XIX–sec XX. Studiu geografic, Editura Dacia, Cluj (include the most important electoral elements for Crișana and Maramureș)
Georg Krauss (1926), Aus den Zeichen tiefster Not. Zwei chronische Berichte aus der Fürstenzeit Siebenbürgens, Ed. Franz Mild, Sighișoara (include information about Sighișoara and Transylvania)
János Kristóf Murádin (2015), Hungarian-Romanian Political Relations in Northern Transylvania between 1940 and 1944 from the Perspective of the Transylvanian Party, cejsh.icm.edu.pl/…/Janos_Kristof_Muradin_72-81.pdf (include references to the seats attributed to the representatives of northern Transylvania who seated in the Parliament of Budapest)
* * * (2001), Anuarul Statistic al României, Institutul Național de Statistică, București (include data related to the first Romanian elections after 1989)
* * * (2009), Documente privind Revoluția Română din Decembrie 1989. Activitatea Consiliului Provizoriu de Uniune Națională, vol I-III, Editura Mega, Cluj (include information related to the seats in CFSN and CPUN)
* * * (1919-1939), Monitorul Oficial al României (publish information about the elections in interwar Romania)
* * * (1891-1918), Pester Lloyd, Budapest (include information related to the legislative elections in Austria-Hungary)
* * * (1931-2014), Recensămintele populației României din anii 1930, 1948, 1966, 1992, 2002, 2011, București (include data related to the ethnic structure of the population of Romania)
* * * (1946-1985), Scânteia, București (include the results of the legislative elections in the communist Romania)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_and_religious_composition_of_Austria-Hungary (present information about the ethnic-linguistic and confessional structure of the population in Austria-Hungary)
https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magyarorsz%C3%A1gi_orsz%C3%A1ggy%C5%B1l%C3%A9si_v%C3%A1laszt%C3%A1sok_a_dualizmus_kor%C3%A1ban (include data about the seats in the Parliament of Hungary in the Dualist period)
http://www.ogyk.hu/e-konyvt/mpgy/valasztasiterkep (include/had include maps with the distribution by electoral districts of the seats awarded by electoral competitors in the time of Dualist Austro-Hungarian period – dead link today)
http://www.roaep.ro/istoric/ (include electoral information about the elections in Romania after 1990)
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