March 20, 2019 / 3:33 PM / a month ago

Hungary's Fidesz party should face rule-of-law evaluation: Weber

European People's Party (EPP) President Joseph Daul and Manfred Weber, the European People's Party's lead candidate in the European Parliament elections arrive to attend the European People Party Political Assembly in Brussels, Belgium March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Manfred Weber, the European center-right’s lead candidate in the coming European Parliament elections, called for the future membership of Hungary’s Fidesz party to be tied to the outcome of an evaluation of its adherence to rule-of-law principles.

In a document seen by Reuters, Weber said the European People’s Party (EPP) should appoint an evaluating committee to be headed by former European Council head Herman Van Rompuy who would assess whether the party, which has ruled Hungary since 2010, respected the rule of law.

The EPP is facing calls to expel or suspend Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party over reforms to Hungary’s justice system and its anti-immigration campaigns. Fidesz officials have said they would quit the party rather than accept suspension.

Reporting by Marton Dunai, writing by Thomas Escritt

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