Scandalous Resignation: First Female President of Hungary Steps Down Amid Controversial Pardon

Amid public uproar over a pardon she gave to an accomplice in a case of child sexual abuse, Hungary's president resigned. This action caused an unprecedented political crisis for the long-serving nationalist administration.

The AP notes that Katalin Novák, 46, announced her resignation from the president on Saturday in a televised speech. She had held the position since 2022. Following the revelation that she had granted a presidential pardon in April 2023 to a man found guilty of concealing a series of child sexual crimes at a state-run children's home, her action sparked more than a week of outcry.

On Saturday, Novák said, "I granted a pardon that produced confusion and disturbance for many individuals." "I erred in judgment." For Hungary's nationalist Fidesz party, which has governed with a constitutional majority since 2010, it represents a unique instance of political unrest.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's party, Fidesz, has come under fire for allegedly destroying democratic institutions and manipulating the media and election process to its advantage. Novák was formerly Hungary's minister for families and is an ally of Orbán. She has spoken in favor of upholding traditional family values and safeguarding children.

She was the youngest person to ever occupy the position and the first female president of Hungary. The home's director, who was given an eight-year term for sexually assaulting at least ten children between 2004 and 2016, was the one who forced victims to back down on their allegations of sexual abuse.

The guy she pardoned was given a sentence of more than three years in jail in 2018. "I decided in favor of mercy in April last year based on the request for clemency and the facts provided in the view that the prisoner did not exploit the vulnerability of the children entrusted to him," Novák said on Saturday, according to the AP. "I erred because it was likely to cast doubt on the notion that there should be no tolerance for pedophilia given the choice to pardon and the absence of explanation. However, there is not any question here and never can be."

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