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    CDH divided on leaving EPP if Orban remains

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The CDH (Christian democratic French-speaking political party in Belgium) is ready to leave the European People’s Party (EPP) if they do not exclude from their ranks Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Brussels’ humanists leader Joëlle Milquet said. This is in contradiction to the words proclaimed by CDH’s previous chair and European head of list, Benoît Lutgen.

    “We will leave,” Milquet tweeted Sunday evening in response to what CDH would do if the EPP did not exclude Fidesz (Hungarian conservative party) as it claims it will. “Maxime Prevost (new CHR president, ed.) said ‘them or us!’ That is quite clear,” Milquet added this morning. She is also Special Adviser for the Reparation for Crime Victims to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

    Juncker has been the target of a Hungarian government campaign, which pushed several EPP members (Belgian CDH and CD&V/Christian Democratic and Flemish; Luxembourg CSV/Christian Democrats; as well as Finnish, Swedish, Dutch and Portuguese group members) to demand the exclusion of Orban.

    The controversy gave rise to conflict between Orban on the one hand and the parties that want him excluded, Orban accusing the latter of playing the role of “useful idiots”, which should only strengthen him in the end.

    Previous CDH chair Lutgen assures this evening in L’écho that they will not slam EPP’s door, even if Fidesz remains.

    “The goal is for them to leave, not us. We have a long tradition in the EPP. Even if he is not excluded, Orban will eventually return to his more natural partners, on the radical right,” Lutgen says.

    The Brussels Times