President Katalin Novák Resigns – A Shockwave Hits Hungary Amid Controversial Pardon

President Katalin Novák Resigns – A Shockwave Hits Hungary Amid Controversial Pardon

Katalin Novák, the President of Hungary, has tendered her resignation, sending shockwaves across the nation.

The decision follows a public outcry over a controversial pardon she granted in April 2023, which only gained widespread attention in the past week.

The pardon recipient, sentenced in 2018 for pressuring victims to retract claims of sexual abuse, had connections to a director convicted of child abuse.

This scandal has put Hungary’s presidential pardon process under scrutiny.

Controversial Pardon Unveiled:

The controversy centers around a pardon granted by Novák in April 2023 to an individual convicted in 2018 for pressuring victims to retract allegations of sexual abuse.

The victims had accused the director of a children’s home, who was subsequently sentenced to eight years for abusing at least 10 children between 2004 and 2016.

The public outcry escalated within the past week, bringing the controversial pardon to light.

Presidential Pardon Authority in Hungary:

In Hungary, the president holds the authority to grant individual pardons, with the decisions requiring countersignature by the minister of justice.

Notably, these pardon decisions are immune to legal appeal, showcasing the gravity of Novák’s actions.

The lack of an appeal process adds complexity to the fallout from the controversy.

Apology and Admission of Mistake:

In her resignation statement, Novák publicly acknowledged her mistake in granting clemency.

She expressed regret for the pain caused and extended apologies to those affected by the controversial pardon.

The admission of error reflects the gravity of the situation and its impact on the public’s perception.

Resignation of Minister of Justice:

Following Novák’s announcement, the Minister of Justice, Judit Varga, who countersigned the contentious pardon, also resigned from the government and declared her withdrawal from public life.

The simultaneous resignations of two prominent figures within Orbán’s government marked a significant development, adding to the upheaval caused by the controversy.

Long-Term Implications for Fidesz Party:

The scandal threatens to cast a shadow over the Fidesz party, as Novák and Varga were influential figures associated with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government.

Novák’s reputation, built on moral probity, and her role in implementing pro-family policies face potential discredit in the long term.


The sudden resignation of President Katalin Novák amidst the controversy surrounding a controversial pardon raises questions about the integrity of Hungary’s presidential pardon process and its implications for the political landscape.