EU leadership will pay close attention to the nomination process of Hungary's new president - political expert

  • 2024-02-12
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The European Union (EU) leadership will pay closer attention to the nomination process of Hungary's new president, political analyst Karlis Dauksts told LETA, commenting on Hungarian President Katalin Novak's resignation announcement.

According to him, the Hungarian issue is very important for the EU because it can send "some signals" to other countries.

In Dauksts' assessment, the resignation of Hungarian President Novak is quite a setback for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, as the President was a member and ally of his party. Therefore, Fidesz, Orban's party, is now in a losing position, while European supporters are gaining.

As the political scientist noted, there are also now obvious differences between Novak and Orban, which were already apparent in the past. The President, however, has been more pro-European and has offered Orban to soften his tone and statements on Hungary's future in the EU.

Who the next President of Hungary might be is the subject of consultations among Orban's supporters. Political analyst Dauksts mentioned Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, who has very good relations with Orban, as one possible candidate.

In Hungary, the President is elected by the Parliament, which is currently made up of a majority of Orban supporters. Therefore, party relations play an important role in the nomination of a presidential candidate, Dauksts pointed out.

The AFP news agency reports that Hungarian President Katalin Novak, a close ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, announced her resignation Saturday following outrage over a pardon granted to a man implicated in a child sexual abuse case.

The announcements followed growing pressure from opposition politicians and protests outside the presidential palace Friday evening.

"I am resigning my post," said 46-year-old Novak, acknowledging that she had made a mistake.

"I apologize to those who I hurt and all the victims who may have had the impression that I did not support them," the former minister for family policy added.

"I am, I was and I will remain in favor of protecting children and families."

Novak became the first woman to hold the essentially ceremonial role of president in March 2022.

The controversy was sparked by the pardon granted to a former deputy director of a children's home. He had helped to cover up his boss's sexual abuse of the children in their charge.

The decision was made last April during a visit by Pope Francis to Budapest.