Budapest, Hungary, Feb 10, 2024 / 17:25 pm
Katalin Novák resigned as president of Hungary on Saturday amid protests over her decision to pardon a man last year who had been convicted of hiding a string of child sexual abuses in a state-run children’s home.
“I issued a pardon that caused bewilderment and unrest for many people,” Novák said in a television address to the nation Feb. 10. “I made a mistake.”
A close ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Novák, 46, who is a Calvinist Protestant, has been a champion for many in the Catholic Church worldwide because of her strong support for pro-life, pro-family policies. A mother of three, she was the first female president in Hungary’s history and the youngest person to ever hold the office.
Her unexpected resignation deals a major blow to Hungary’s nationalist governing party Fidesz, which since 2010 has ruled with a constitutional majority.