Hungarian President resigns after controversy over decision to pardon a man convicted of covering up a child sexual abuse case

Hungarian President Katalin Novak has announced her resignation after facing controversy over her decision to pardon a man convicted of covering up a child sexual abuse case in a children’s home. The controversial pardon decision was made last year, but it recently caught the public’s attention after a report by a local news site. The public outrage and growing protests in Hungary led to calls for Novak to step down.

In a televised address, Novak admitted to making a mistake and issued an apology to any victims who felt she had not stood with them. She had become president in 2022 and was known as a family-focused Christian conservative politician.

In addition to Novak’s resignation, Judit Varga, the former minister of justice who approved the pardon, has also stepped down from her new role leading the European elections campaign for Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s ruling Fidesz party.

Novak, a popular figure in Fidesz, is a rare female politician in a male-dominated country and a key ally of Mr. Orban. She previously worked as his family minister and became the first woman to hold the largely ceremonial role of Hungarian president in 2022. Since then, nationwide protests have been held demanding her resignation after making a controversial decision.

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