Hungarian President Steps Down

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.10 - 2024 7:01 PM CET

Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
Hungarian President Katalin Novák Steps Down.

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Katalin Novák, the President of Hungary, has announced her resignation in the wake of widespread public backlash due to her pardoning of an individual convicted of sexually abusing children in an orphanage.

Novák's Statement:

"I acknowledge my error. The act of granting pardon, coupled with the absence of a clear explanation, might have led to doubts. Doubts should not exist in such matters. I would never exonerate someone guilty of child abuse. Safeguarding children is a collective duty." she states according to Index.

Novák expressed her expectations for her successor, emphasizing the importance of accountability and the willingness to resign in the face of errors.

"I extend my apologies to those I have wronged and to all victims who felt unsupported by my actions," she added.

Next Steps: The Hungarian parliament is tasked with electing a new president within 30 days following the conclusion of Novák's term.

The controversy stems from Novák's decision in April 2023 to pardon approximately two dozen individuals ahead of the Pope's visit, including a case involving the deputy director of an orphanage. This individual had assisted in hiding the criminal activities of the former director, who was convicted for the sexual abuse of several boys between 2004-2016, resulting in an 8-year prison sentence.

Following this decision, Hungary's opposition parties called for Novák's immediate resignation. The situation escalated with a protest in Budapest, where at least a thousand individuals gathered to demand her departure from office over her controversial pardon decision.

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