Hungarian Parliament Considers Official Recognition of Another National Minority – the Scythians
The Hungarian Parliament may soon face the official recognition of an additional national minority in the country. Hungarian lawmakers will have to decide whether to add another group, the Scythians, to the 13 recognized nationalities. If legislative approval is granted, the Scythians will be officially classified as one of the acknowledged ethnic groups native to Hungary, alongside Germans, Slovaks, or Roma, as reported by HVG.
Authentic signatures from over a thousand self-proclaimed Scythian Hungarian voters have been collected. On November 29, the Chairman of the National Election Committee (NVB), Robert Sasvari, submitted a parliamentary resolution proposal titled 'Initiative to Declare Scythians as an Indigenous Ethnic Group.' This was a mandatory step by the NVB president following the successful completion of the legal initiative declaring Scythians as an indigenous ethnicity.
According to the law, if another ethnic group seeks recognition in addition to the 13 acknowledged nationalities, it requires the signatures of at least a thousand Hungarian citizens who claim to be members of that nationality and have the right to vote at the local level. Robert Sasvari stated that the collection of these signatures was recently successfully completed.
The President of the NVB announced that the number of valid signatures in support of initiative to declare the Scythian nationality as an indigenous ethnic group, initiated by private individual Laszlo Pocha, exceeds a thousand, specifically 1371. This was established by the decision of the collegium led by the NVB President. The decision gained legal force on November 27.
Pocha is a municipal representative in Eger on behalf of a non-governmental organization, but he also ran as a mayoral candidate in 2019 and garnered more than 5 percent of the vote.
Laszlo Pocha is also known for his controversial statements denying the coronavirus when he was dismissed from the Pal Buga hospital in Deondos in 2020, and the Hungarian Medical Chamber, of which he was the president in the Heves county, distanced itself from him.
In recent years, there have been two similar attempts to register national minorities to be represented in parliament. In 2017 and 2018, a sufficient number of signatures were collected to recognize the Szekler citizenship, but the MTA did not support any initiative, and ultimately, the parliament adopted a negative decision in both cases.
The Scythians, a collective term for tribes that migrated from the Caspian steppes to the territory of Ukraine in the first half of the 7th century BCE, inhabited the left bank of the lower Dnieper and the steppe regions of Crimea.