MEPs vote to take action against Hungary

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Hungary called the vote fraudulent and vowed to challenge it.

This move marked the first time that Article 7 of the European Union constitution has been triggered, which can suspend certain rights of a state, Al Jazeera noted, adding that the vote may lead to Hungary's voting rights being stripped.

"The European Parliament vote should serve as a wake-up call to EU institutions and national governments that press freedom is a fundamental democratic value that needs to be vigorously defended and promoted throughout the 28 member states, starting with Hungary".

For years, Orban had been able to deflect much of the global condemnation thrown his way.

For years, Orban has successfully deflected much of the worldwide condemnation about Hungary's electoral system, press freedoms, independence of the judiciary, mistreatment of asylum seekers and refugees and limitations on the functioning of non-governmental organizations, but criticism has been growing even within the European People's Party, to which his Fidesz party belongs.

But Italy's anti-immigration Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said his League party's six European Union lawmakers would support Oran in the Wednesday vote.

"Hungary will not give in to blackmail", the Hungarian prime minister insisted, "but will defend the European borders and European values of democracy".

The report was approved with 448 votes in favour, 197 against and 48 abstentions.

Mr Szijjarto said Hungary was considering legal options to appeal against the result because of the way the vote was tallied.

Since sweeping to power in 2010, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has pressured courts, media and non-governmental groups, as well as refusing to take in asylum seekers arriving in Europe. "They deserve freedom of speech, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice and equality, all of which are enshrined in the European treaties".

Liberal MEP Radu Ungureanu, as well as Hungarian minority MEPs Iuliu Winkler and Csaba Sogor, also voted against the measure. "We should not let Europe slide back to the past". Soros has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Members of the European Parliament take part in a vote on the situation in Hungary during a voting session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, September 12, 2018.

Delivering more than the two-thirds majority required as many of Orban's allies in the conservative party deserted him, the vote, however, has little chance of ending up with the ultimate penalty of Hungary being suspended from voting in the EU.

And Timmermans told Orban "if you want to be a member of a club you have to abide by the rules", saying the Commission would take Hungary to court if it found it had violated European Union rules.

Verhofstadt went on to say that Orban was not his country, and that Hungary was "far more eternal" than Orban's far-right government. "There is nothing to talk about". "Hungary has been condemned because they know that it would never accept pro-migrant policies".

The vote in Strasbourg on Wednesday presented a resolution on the violation of the rule of law, human rights and various freedoms Budapest.

The EPP group, the largest in the parliament, on Tuesday evening, held a meeting with Orban, after which their leader, Manfred Weber announced he would vote in favour of launching the procedure.

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