Key European group mulls status of Hungary’s ruling party

Key European group mulls status of Hungary’s ruling party
President of the European Council Donald Tusk speaks during the European Peoples Party (EPP) congress in Zagreb, Croatia, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Tusk was in Zagreb, the Croatian capital, for a meeting of the European People's Party, the main center-right bloc in the European Parliament.(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — The new president of the European People’s Party says the status of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s populist party within the influential group will be decided early next year.

Donald Tusk said Thursday the decision will be made in January after EPP’s internal investigation. Tusk, the outgoing European Council president, was on Wednesday elected the new president of the party at a two-day congress in Zagreb, Croatia.

The membership of Orban’s Fidesz party in the EPP was temporarily suspended in March before the EU elections due to alleged violations of the rule of law.

Tusk says “my opinion is quite clear when I express my opinion about illiberal democracy” conducted by Orban. “I think we have to be very determined in fighting against this kind of idea.”