March 20, 2019 / 6:31 PM / a month ago

Hungary's Orban says agreed to voluntary Fidesz suspension

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said he had agreed voluntarily to pause his Fidesz party’s participation in Europe’s main center-right political grouping in order to head off a forced suspension over rule-of-law concerns.

The European People’s Party has faced calls to expel or suspend Fidesz for alleged democratic backsliding.

Orban said a committee of the pan-European party had agreed not to suspend Fidesz but to let it voluntarily not participate until an independent commission had completed a review of the state of the rule of law in Hungary.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt, Editing by Gabriela Baczynska

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