Hungarian president resigns amid pedophilia pardon scandal

‘s President Katalin Novak announced on national television on Saturday that she was resigning, as she faced mounting pressure for issuing a presidential pardon to a man convicted as an accomplice for helping to cover up a sex abuse case at a children’s home. 

“I made a mistake,” Novak said. “Today is the last day that I address you as a president.” 

Novak, 46, is a close ally of Prime Minister and a member of his party, Fidesz. She returned from an official visit to Qatar at short notice to make the announcement. 

Why was the president under pressure? 

She had faced intense criticism from some members of the public and opposition parties since the news of the presidential pardon became public knowledge on February 2. 

The pardons were issued last April, ahead of a visit to Hungary by . Novak had said her reasons for issuing the pardon were not public, and had tried at first to argue that pardons were by their nature controversial. 

A large protest was staged outside her office on Friday evening, with demonstrators putting children’s toys — some with tape covering their mouths — on the ground outside the building. 

Orban has also responded quickly in a bid to limit the fallout. On Thursday, he submitted a constitutional amendment to parliament that would make it impossible for presidents to issue pardons for crimes committed against children in the future. 

This is a breaking news story and will be updated…

msh/wd (AFP, Reuters)

The post Hungarian president resigns amid pedophilia pardon scandal appeared first on Deutsche Welle.

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