Hungarian President Katalin Novák Resigns

Government

Katalin Novák

Photo by MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák

President of Hungary Katalin Novák announced her resignation in an extraordinary broadcast on M1 on Saturday afternoon, according to a report by news site Telex.

The main factor behind Novák's resignation was a scandal that erupted last week regarding a pardon she granted to a man convicted as an accomplice in a child sexual abuse case. The scandal led to several well-known public figures quitting Novák's advisory board.

Opposition parties were also putting pressure on Novák to resign. DK and MSZP launched impeachment proceedings against her, while Momentum organized a demonstration at the Sándor Palace on Friday. At the same time, LMP and Párbeszéd-Zöldek tabled an amendment to the law to make the reasons for pardon decisions compulsory to be made public in the future, the report explains.

In today's broadcast on public television, Novák said she had made a mistake and apologized to those who felt she had wronged them.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, reacting to the scandal, initiated a constitutional amendment to ban anyone who commits a crime against a minor from receiving a presidential pardon.

Former Justice Minister Judit Varga Resigns as MP

Judit Varga (Image by Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com)

Telex's report also notes that the controversial pardon case also implicated former Justice Minister Judit Varga, because although Novák decided on the pardon, the request was submitted by Varga when she was still minister and needed her countersignature to be valid.

Shortly after Novák's announcement, Varga announced on her Facebook page that she is resigning from her seat in the Hungarian Parliament, and also from leading Fidesz's list of candidates in the upcoming EP election.

"I take political responsibility for countersigning the President's decision," she also wrote.

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