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Hungary’s President Steps Down Amid Controversial Pardon in Sexual Abuse Case


Feb 11, 2024

Katalin Nóvak, Hungary’s president has apologized and resigned after the public demonstrations against her for having pardoned a deputy director of an orphanage found guilty of covering up sexual abuse of ten minors by the center’s director. In a published statement, the now former president noted that she took an oath and served for the benefit of the Hungarian nation. She also acknowledged that her decision to adopt a measure of grace was wrong, and mentioned that the power of forgiveness is the most sensitive of all.

Nóvak emphasized her belief that children are the most important treasure within a nation. However, given the sensitive nature of her actions, and the controversy surrounding them, she felt it necessary to resign as it was the duty of the president to face those owed a debt and take responsibility. She apologized to those hurt by her actions and to the victims who felt that she did not defend them. Notably, during his statement, Nóvak stressed that it is important for women to remain in public life.

The resignation of Nóvak came after a public demand for her to leave office. Moreover, the deputy director of the orphanage, who received the pardon, was sentenced to three years and four months in prison for forcing one of the victims to sign a false statement. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also announced that he will promote an amendment to the Constitution to prevent a person convicted of pedophilia crimes from receiving a presidential pardon.

Katalin Nóvak was under public heat for her decision to pardon the deputy director of an orphanage found guilty of covering up the sexual abuse of ten minors by the center’s director. Her apology followed the public outcry and demonstrations for her actions. The resignation came after a trip to Qatar and the pressure of thousands of people demanding that she leaves office. Her underlining actions and her commendations during her trial led to her resignation and her public apologies. She acknowledged her mistake and her decision as head of the state and proceeded to resign.

By Editor

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