Hungary's President Katalin Novak resigns | EUROtoday

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Hungary's President Katalin Novak resigns

Katalin Novak in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos Katalin Novak in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos

Katalin Novak in January on the World Economic Forum in Davos

Source: dpa/Hannes P Albert

She was a confidante of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán: Katalin Novák, President of Hungary, has resigned. The motive is the pardon of a intercourse offender. The authorities and opposition clearly criticized her for this.

UHungary's President Katalin Novák resigned on Saturday beneath strain from the opposition and authorities. She had pardoned a person who had been convicted of aiding and abetting the sexual abuse of minors. This sparked widespread outrage.

“I made a mistake,” Novák mentioned in a video broadcast by Hungarian state tv. She has served as head of state since May 2022. Just just a few hours earlier than her resignation, Novák had returned early to Budapest from an official go to to the Gulf Emirate of Qatar. Thousands of demonstrators demanded her resignation in Budapest on Friday night.

The right-wing populist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán lately publicly distanced himself from his former political colleague Novák. He shortly launched a proposal for a constitutional modification to parliament, in response to which criminals whose victims are kids ought to by no means be pardoned.

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Orbán's authorities notably needs to be seen as a protector of youngsters from sexual violence. In 2021, she carried out a controversial “child protection law” that prohibits kids from being educated about homosexuality in colleges. Distributors of related publications are additionally obliged to make them inaccessible to minors. Critics say the spirit of this regulation equates homosexuality with pedophilia.

The man pardoned by Novák was the deputy director of a kids's residence in Bicske close to Budapest. According to the court docket ruling, he compelled kids to recant their testimonies as victims of abuse towards the house director in an effort to exonerate his boss. He had identified in regards to the acts of abuse for years. The residence director was sentenced to eight years in jail. His pardoned deputy obtained a jail sentence of three years and 4 months.

Protesters in Budapest on Friday

Protesters in Budapest on Friday

Quelle: dpa/Marton Monus

The pardon had already taken place in April 2023, on the event of Pope Francis' go to to Budapest. But it solely turned identified via media studies per week in the past.

In Hungary, heads of state play a subordinate political position. They are elected by parliament, normally on the advice of the strongest social gathering. The Prime Minister prompt filling this place with Novák, who had beforehand been the main politician in Orbán's Fidesz social gathering.

Orbán is more likely to be glad along with her resignation as a result of Novák has not at all times represented authorities coverage in latest instances. On a number of events she was clearly vital of Russia's warfare of aggression towards Ukraine, whereas Orbán maintains good relations with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. Novák additionally spoke out in favor of a fast ratification of Sweden's NATO accession by Hungary's parliament, which Orbán is delaying.

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