As expected, Béla Bugár was elected the first chairman of the new party Most – Híd at the party's founding congress in Šamorín on July 11. Only three of six deputy chairmen posts were filled. There deputy chairmen appointees were: Rudolf Chmel, Edit Pfuntner and Zsolt Simon, the SITA newswire reported.
The party was established by renegade MPs from the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) Béla Bugár, László Nagy and Gábor Gál, who had left the SMK parliamentary caucus on April 22 over disagreements with the party’s leadership.
Bugár labeled the establishment of Most- Híd, what means in the bridge in Slovak and Hungarian, to be a historical event in his address to the delegates.
"We initiated the party in our common homeland, in multi-ethnical Slovakia, to put forth the idea of mutual cooperation based on tolerance, and pursuing openness, decency, responsibility and trust," said Bugár. He delivered his speech in Hungarian as the official language of the party and mother language of all delegates.
At the congress, the party adopted a declaration calling on President Ivan Gašparovič not to sign the State Language Act.
"This law harms Slovaks, as well as Slovak citizens of other ethnical background," said Bugár.
Former agents of the Communist-era secret service ŠtB as well as current members of the intelligence service SIS cannot become members of this new party.
Bugár said that the party founders had received a very positive reaction to the decision to set up the new party. He believes that the party will come up with solutions to day-to-day problems of its future voters and at the same time promote friendly Slovak-Hungarian relations. He made assurances to everyone, including Slovaks and Hungarians or members of other ethnic minorities, that the Most-Híd politicians will treat all ethnic issues in a sensitive manner..
"If we speak about sensitive issues, the events of the last two years clearly indicate how we cannot handle such sensitive topics, e.g. a topic of Beneš decrees or the term of autonomy," SITA cited Bugár as saying. “In any society, in which there are taboo subjects, there are also those who abuse them. But we cannot just sweep such them under the carpet, and not take a clear political stance.”
Compiled by Jana Liptáková from press reports
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