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The main EPP center-right alliance in the European Parliament refrained from expelling Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party Wednesday following a long dispute over its values and policies, opting instead to suspend it, AP reported.

Despite his party’s suspension, Orban sought to put on a brave face, arguing that the EPP remained united ahead of European elections May 23-26. Orban, who was present at the EPP meeting, countered earlier threats from some in his party for it to leave should the EPP grouping suspend it.

EPP leader Manfred Weber said Fidesz “can no longer propose candidates for posts” in the group and said they cannot vote on issues or join major group meetings as long as the suspension lasts.

“The EPP was very clear and united ... that the suspension is needed,” Weber said. “It was a very hard decision.”

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