Hungary faces political crisis as president resigns over backlash for pardon in sex abuse case

Trending 2 weeks ago

Hungary's long-serving authorities of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán faces a uncommon political crisis aft nan president resigned amid nationalist anger complete her pardoning of a man convicted successful a kid intersexual maltreatment case.

President Katalin Novák's play resignation came aft it was revealed that she issued a pardon successful April 2023 to a man convicted of hiding kid sexual abuses successful a state-run children’s home. Justice Minister Judit Varga besides announced her status complete her domiciled successful endorsing nan decision.

Some of Orbán's opponents opportunity nan resignation of 2 elder members of his nationalist Fidesz statement is not enough, and that Orbán must carnivore nan governmental consequences.


"Viktor Orbán was not ashamed to hide down nan skirts of 2 women alternatively of taking responsibility," said Anna Donáth, a lawmaker successful nan European Parliament for nan Hungarian guidance statement Momentum. "That is why this matter cannot beryllium allowed to to adjacent for illustration this."

Orbán has not publically reacted to nan resignations.

The European Union's longest-serving leader and his Fidesz statement person ruled Hungary pinch a astir unbroken law mostly since 2010. After placing loyalists astatine nan heads of governmental and judicial institutions, and seizing power of swaths of Hungary's media, Fidesz has made easy activity of defeating opponents.

But Novák and Varga's resignations person divided Orbán's supporters and led immoderate to judge that they were sacrificed to shield nan premier curate from nan governmental consequences of nan scandal, said Dániel Hegedus, an expert and Central Europe chap for nan German Marshall Fund.

The resignations "go against nan logic of really loyalty was built into nan Orbán authorities until now," Hegedus said. "It’s dividing nan Fidesz halfway electorate connected whether these 2 politicians should really person been sacrificed."

Novák, a erstwhile vice president of Fidesz, served arsenic nan curate for families until her assignment to nan presidency successful 2022. She has been outspoken successful advocating for nan accepted family and nan protection of children, a cornerstone of Fidesz's image arsenic a defender of Christian blimpish values.

But her statesmanlike pardon struck astatine nan bosom of her party's estimation and threatened to alienate parts of its blimpish elector base.

"I deliberation they intelligibly saw successful their soul polling that nan business is becoming dangerous, and captious electoral groups are rejecting nan behaviour of nan erstwhile president," Hegedus said of Fidesz.


Some of Orbán's biggest rivals are pushing for further consequences.

Democratic Coalition, nan largest guidance party, has called for nonstop presidential elections alternatively of having Novák's successor appointed by Fidesz’s mostly successful parliament.

In a Facebook post, Ferenc Gyurcsány, nan leader of Democratic Coalition and premier curate from 2004 to 2009, vowed that 2 of Orbán's closest friends stepping down would not beryllium capable to put nan contention to rest.

"The resignation of Novák and Varga did not adjacent nan case, it opened it up," he wrote.

But nan leader of Fidesz’s parliamentary caucus, Máté Kocsis, has rejected nan conception of a nonstop election.

"It doesn’t activity that erstwhile nan near is successful power, they elite nan president, and erstwhile we are successful power, nan group elite nan president," Kocsis said.