The president of Hungary, Katalin Novak, resigns after a controversial pardon in a pedophile case

The president of Hungary, Katalin Novákvery close to the ultranationalist prime minister Viktor Orbánannounced this Saturday his resignation after a week of controversy over a pardon granted to a director of a children’s home who tried to hide cases of pedophilia.

“I ask for forgiveness from those whom I have hurt. Today I speak to you for the last time as president. I resign from my position,” Novák said in a televised speech, after returning early from a visit to Qatar.

The head of state, a former Minister of Family Affairs, He acknowledged having “made a mistake” by pardoning a deputy director of a children’s home, whose director abused several minors for years.

The controversial pardon, granted in April 2023 on the occasion of Pope Francis’ visit to Budapest, was discovered by the press last week.

Since then opposition political parties and organizations They called for the president’s resignation, considering that pardon as “unacceptable.”“.

The presidential position in Hungary has primarily representative attributes, although it also includes signing pardons for prisoners at the proposal of the Government.

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