Hungarian president resigns over child sexual abuse scandal

Natalie Portman
By Natalie Portman 3 Min Read
origin 1Hungarian President Katalin Novak Katalin Novak participates in a panel on the World Economic Forum. Hannes P Albert/dpa

Hungarian President Katalin Novák introduced her resignation on Saturday amid rising stress over her pardon of a person convicted as an confederate in a child intercourse abuse case.

“I made a mistake,” Novák stated in a video broadcast on state tv.

It was lately revealed that Novák pardoned a person who had been legally convicted of aiding and abetting the sexual abuse of youngsters and younger individuals.

The disclosure triggered road protests and condemnation from lawmakers throughout the political spectrum.

The man Novák pardoned was the deputy director of an orphanage in Bicske close to Budapest.

According to a court docket ruling, he compelled the kids to recant their testimony as abuse victims towards the institute’s director to exonerate his boss.

The director of the house was sentenced to eight years in jail. His pardoned deputy acquired a jail sentence of three years and 4 months.

The pardon passed off in April 2023, on the event of Pope Francis’ go to to Budapest. However, the information solely got here to gentle every week in the past by way of media stories.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a right-wing populist, introduced a proposal to parliament on Thursday night to amend the Hungarian structure in order that criminals whose crimes have an effect on youngsters won’t ever be pardoned in future.

Orbán’s authorities likes to be seen as defending youngsters from sexual violence.

Despite worldwide outcry, a regulation was handed in 2021 banning the training of youngsters in faculties about homosexuality. Critics have criticized the measure for equating homosexuality with pedophilia.

Shortly earlier than her resignation, Novák had returned to Budapest early from an official go to to Qatar.

In Hungary the heads of state play a subordinate function politically. They are elected by Parliament, often on the advice of the strongest social gathering. The appointment of Novák, who had been a number one member of Orbán’s Fidesz social gathering, was proposed by the prime minister.

Novák, who took workplace in May 2022, has not all the time been on the identical web page as Orbán.

On a number of events he has expressed clear criticism of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, whereas Orbán maintains pleasant relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Novák additionally spoke out in favor of the Hungarian parliament’s early ratification of Sweden’s membership in NATO, which Orbán helps.

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