YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 10, ARMENPRESS. Hungarian President Katalin Novak has resigned after coming under mounting pressure for pardoning a man convicted for helping to cover up sexual abuse in a children’s home, Reuters reports.
President Novak pardoned some two dozen people in April 2023 – among them the deputy director of the children’s home, who helped the institution’s former director hide crimes.
For the last time addressing the nation as president, Katalin Novak admitted she “made a mistake”.
“I issued a pardon that caused bewilderment and unrest for many people,” Novák said on February 10. “I made a mistake.”
This week, Hungarian opposition parties had demanded Novak’s resignation over the case and on February 9 a thousand demonstrators rallied at Novak’s office calling for her to quit.
In a bid to contain the political damage, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban submitted a constitutional amendment to parliament on February 8, depriving the president of the right to pardon crimes committed against children.
46-year-old Katalin Novak – the first female president in Hungary’s history, has held the position of president since 2022.
Besides the president, Orban’s former Justice Minister Judit Varga who also signed off on the pardon – said on Facebook she would step down as the ruling Fidesz party MP, taking responsibility for the decision.