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Zsolt Simon criticises SMK leader after leaving party

One of MP Zsolt Simon’s main reasons for announcing his resignation from the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) on Tuesday, April 14, was that he was forbidden from participating in carrying out the party’s programme, Simon said, speaking after his initial announcement.

One of MP Zsolt Simon’s main reasons for announcing his resignation from the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) on Tuesday, April 14, was that he was forbidden from participating in carrying out the party’s programme, Simon said, speaking after his initial announcement.

“SMK chairman Pál Csáky has turned to the [SMK’s] Republic Ethics Committee because I told the truth about him, his practices and tactics within the SMK. I’ve expressed my opinion and I still stand by it: that under the leadership of Pál Csáky, lies have become a working method,” he told a press conference.

According to Simon, Csáky's economic interests are more important within the SMK than the interests of voters. He added that he believes the SMK has been set on a divisive path that is decreasing the party’s popularity. Simon, a former agriculture minister in the 2002-2006 coalition government, announced yesterday that he was leaving all his positions in the party and would sit in parliament as an independent MP.

Simon told the TASR newswire that he had made his decision after careful consideration all the circumstances.

The SMK’s caucus leader Gyula Bárdos accepted Simon’s decision to terminate his membership of the party. Bárdos said the MP’s departure was not a big surprise to him, noting that Simon had warned several times that such a decision was imminent.

Fellow-lawmaker and former chairman of the SMK Béla Bugár blamed the MP’s decision to quit on the current party leadership and the political practices it has pursued since it was elected last year. Bugár said that Simon's decision is sad since he is the first-ever lawmaker to leave the SMK caucus. He fears that more MPs might follow his example. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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