Katalin Novak, the Hungarian President, announced her resignation on Saturday, February 10, following a backlash over her decision to pardon a man convicted of concealing a child sexual abuse case in a children’s home.
The pardon, issued last year but recently brought to public attention by a report from local news site 444.hu, sparked widespread outrage and calls for Novak’s resignation from Hungary’s opposition.
As protests demanding her resignation intensified, Novak apologized, acknowledging that granting the pardon was “a mistake” and expressing regret for any victims who felt she had not supported them.
Novak, known for her focus on family and conservative Christian values, had served as president since 2022. Her resignation comes amid mounting pressure and public scrutiny over the controversial decision.
Additionally, Judit Varga, the former Minister of Justice who approved the pardon, has also resigned from her position overseeing the European elections campaign for Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s ruling Fidesz party.
Novak, a prominent figure within Fidesz and a rare female politician in Hungary’s male-dominated political landscape, had previously served as Minister for Families under Prime Minister Orban. In 2022, she made history as the first woman to hold the largely ceremonial role of Hungarian president.