Politics, Reports

President Of Hungary Resigns Amid Controversy Of Child Sex Abuse Pardon

Nmesoma Okwudili


February 15, 2024

On February 9th, Hungary’s President Katalin Novak, declared her resignation amidst considerable criticism stemming from her controversial decision to pardon a man convicted of complicity in covering up sexual abuse within a children’s home. This decision sparked significant public outcry and raised questions about her judgment and commitment to safeguarding the welfare of vulnerable individuals.

In a nation where male figures typically dominate the political landscape, Katalin Novak stands out as a noteworthy and well-regarded figure within the Fidesz party, representing an uncommon presence as a female politician. Breaking barriers, she achieved the milestone of becoming the first woman to assume the predominantly ceremonial role of Hungary’s president in 2022.

The 46-year-old president faced severe backlash this week after revelations that she had granted clemency to an individual who had played a role in coercing children to retract allegations of sexual assault against the director of a state-run children’s home.

The resignation was triggered by a controversy that surfaced last week when the identities of 25 people who had received pardons from MS. Novak during Pope Francis’ visit to Hungary in April of last year were made public by Hungarian media.

The deputy director of a children’s home in Budapest was among the list of individuals. He was imprisoned for three years after pressuring children to retract on allegations of abuse against the home’s director. As a result, there were increasing calls in Hungary for her resignation.

MS Novak apologized saying she made a mistake in granting the pardon.

“I decided to grant a pardon last April, believing that the convict did not exploit the vulnerability of the children who he had overseen” she said in her speech addressing the citizens on live national television on Saturday.

“I made a mistake, as the pardon and lack of reasoning were conducive to triggering doubts about Zero tolerance that applies to pedophilia” she said

Endre K was given a term of three years and four months in jail in 2022. Additionally, he was barred from working with minors for an extra five years. However, Endre K was freed and, in theory, permitted to resume his career after receiving a pardon.

In this instance, Novak declared on Tuesday that she would never pardon a paedophile. She stated that the rationale for her decision was not made public, and that all pardons are contentious by nature.

On Thursday, Orban declared that individuals convicted of child abuse would not be eligible for leniency under a new constitutional amendment. Yet, he did not directly address the Novak case, emphasizing the importance of not showing leniency towards perpetrators of child abuse.

Additionally, there was a connection to the former Justice Minister, Judith Varga, who had approved the pardon. She was front and centre on Fidesz’s list of potential candidates for this summer’s European Parliament elections, according to rumours. Nevertheless, several media sources claim that Varga decided to leave the public eye known on Saturday by posting on Facebook. Her political responsibility for endorsing the amnesty is therefore assumed, and she renounces her role as head of the European Parliament list.

Saturday’s address marked her final one as president, where she apologized saying “to those whom I may have offended and to all the victims who might have felt that I did not stand up for them I apologise. I have consistently advocated for the protection of children and families”


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles