Illustration - Photo: MTI

Nemeth: Legality of Serbian elections can’t be questioned

Possible irregularities that may have been experienced in Serbia's early parliamentary elections this month did not reach a level that would warrant questioning the legitimacy of the vote, the head of the Hungarian parliament's foreign affairs committee said in Strasbourg on Monday.
23. January 2024 6:51

Zsolt Nemeth told MTI by phone on day one of the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) that it would be “preferable if certain political forces didn’t question the legitimacy of the vote in Serbia just because it was won by a political side that they don’t sympathise with”.

He praised the recent achievements of the CoE, namely the relations it has fostered with the opposition in Russia and Belarus as well as its contributions to the representation of human and minority rights in Ukraine despite the war.

He said that without the CoE’s contributions, it would have been impossible to achieve “even the relative improvement” that has been Ukraine’s amendment of its minority law. He added that while the amendment was “an important step in an encouraging direction”, it was not enough, and more efforts would need to be made to restore the rights of Transcarpathian Hungarians and other national minorities in Ukraine.

Concerning the Israel-Palestine conflict, Nemeth said it was “regrettable” that the Hamas terrorist group’s attack on Israel could not have been prevented, that there was no progress in ending the war, and that anti-Semitism was on the rise again in Europe.

Meanwhile, Nemeth said he was hopeful of good cooperation with newly-elected PACE President Theodoros Roussopoulos based on the new president’s inaugural speech on Monday. He said he had supported Roussopoulos in the hope that the new president would be a partner in the enforcement of human and minority rights norms.

Nemeth also told MTI that he had been re-elected deputy leader of PACE’s conservative group.

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