This Saturday (10), Katalin Novak, the president of Hungary, decided to step down from her position. The sudden resignation comes in the wake of immense pressure she faced for granting pardon to an individual who was involved in covering up instances of sexual abuse in a children’s home. The news about the pardon first surfaced about a week ago through a local news website and has since been a source of controversy.
The fallout from the revelation was significant. The news not only led to the resignation of the President of Hungary, Katalin Novak, but also to the stepping down of the Minister of Justice, Judit Varga. The incident has rocked the political scenario in the country, sending shockwaves across the political spectrum.
Despite the controversy and the high-profile resignations, it should be noted that the presidency in Hungary is not considered a central role. As opposed to many other political systems, in Hungary, it is the prime minister who is regarded as the head of state. Currently, this position is held by Viktor Orban, who has been in power since 2010. Orban was a close ally of the now-resigned Hungarian president, Katalin Novak.
President of Hungary admits to “error”
In her statements, Katalin Novak admitted to her “mistake”. She confessed that she made the decision to grant the pardon last April. At the time, she was under the belief that the convict had not abused the trust or vulnerability of the children he was in charge of. Her admission, however, has done little to quell the controversy.
The man in question, who received the controversial pardon, had been sentenced to a prison term of over three years back in 2018. His crime was pressuring the victims to retract their accusations of abuse.
The decision for Novak to step down as the president of Hungary was heavily influenced by the mounting pressure from the public and opposition parties over the course of this week.