A senior conservative Hungarian politician suddenly announced his resignation from the European Parliament after police disbanded a party he had attended in Brussels because it had violated restrictions on the coronavirus.
József Szajer, a well-known figure in the right-wing Fidesz party led by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, confirmed on Tuesday that he was in the party last week. He did not comment on the description in the Belgian media that the men’s gay bar is located in the heart of the city’s gay bar district.
A Brussels prosecutor’s office said in a statement that police intervened on Friday after neighbors found 20 people in an apartment complaining about noise. Two of them invoked diplomatic immunity.
“A passer-by reported to the police that he had seen a man flee the scene,” the prosecutor said in a statement. He wrote, “The man’s hands were bloody. He may have been injured while fleeing. Drugs were found in his backpack.
“The man was unable to present identity documents,” the prosecutor said. “He was escorted to his residence, where he identified himself as an SJ (1961) through a diplomatic passport,” the prosecutor said. This corresponds to Mr Szajer’s initials and year of birth.
Mr Szajer denied having used drugs that night.
Mr Szajer enjoys immunity from criminal proceedings under the protection of the European Parliament, the elected legislature of the European Union.
“The Belgian press reported on the news of a private party in Brussels on Friday, I was present,” Mr Szajer said in a statement by the European People’s Party, a coalition of European conservative parties that includes Fidesz. He also published the letter on his personal website, which soon collapsed after he rose.
Mr Szajer went on to say that he had been asked by the police to identify himself but did not have an identity card, so he declared that he was a Member of the European Parliament.
“I didn’t use drugs,” he said.
The official expressed regret for violating the rules of the coronavirus. “I apologize to my family, my colleagues, my voters,” he said. The Belgian government has banned all gatherings in Brussels, the seat of the European Parliament, to control the spread of viruses.
Mr Orbán’s party has increasingly become a defender of conservative Christian values and has used anti-gay rhetoric at home in Hungary. The government has recently introduced legislation restricting marriage to unions between a man and a woman.
Mr. Szajer is a founding member of the ruling party and a long-term ally of Prime Minister Orbán. Since Hungary joined the European bloc in 2004, he has served as a member of the European Parliament.
On Sunday, two days after the party, Mr Szajer announced his resignation from the European Parliament on 31 December. He quoted the tensions of the daily political battle, although he said his resignation was not linked to Hungary’s dispute with the 25 other countries EU member states over the next budget and the coronavirus stimulus.
One week before announcing his resignation, Mr Szajer said in an interview that the European Union was trying to punish Hungary for exercising its sovereign rights.
Szajer’s Conservative fellow Member of Parliament praised him in a statement.
“On behalf of ourselves and the entire political community,” they said, we, the Fidesz-KDNP MEPs, thank József Szajer, who played a crucial role in enabling Hungarian civic conservatism and Christian democracy to occupy their rightful people. place on the European political scene. “
Mr. Szajer is married to Tunde Hando, a judge of the Hungarian Constitutional Court.
The other members of Fidesz had to resign after the sex scandals. In the run-up to the 2019 Hungarian municipal elections, video footage appeared of a Fidesz mayor pursuing an orgy on a yacht on the Adriatic. The mayor won the re-election, but resigned a month later.
Monika Pronczuk reported from Brussels and Benjamin Novak from Budapest.