Opposition parties demand explanation from Orbán after President's resignation

February 10. 2024. – 09:06 PM



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Following the resignation of Katalin Novák and the withdrawal of former minister of justice Judit Varga from her posts, Hungarian opposition parties are demanding direct elections for the head of state, a parliamentary committee of inquiry and an explanation from the Prime Minister.

"Viktor Orbán must stand up and provide an explanation for the events that took place. He is the prime minister, and it was on behalf of his government that Judit Varga countersigned the pardon. This is Orbán's system, so there is no denying his responsibility" – Anna Donáth, president of Momentum reacted to the news.

"Katalin Novák made the right decision, but her decision is not enough to repair the damage that we Hungarians, all of us, have suffered."

Péter Ungár, co-chair of LMP wrote. According to Ungár, people expect an explanation. "If Katalin Novák has decided not to grant this explanation when leaving, then Viktor Orbán should do it".

LMP's co-president writes that he believes it is no accident that the second Fidesz – appointed president has failed. "We must suspect that this is happening because they are incapable of consensus and compromise. When it comes to showing the unity of the nation, to withstanding a test, they fail. They don't represent all of us and the decisions they make are driven by their own interests".

"By resigning, Katalin Novák has made the only acceptable decision. So did Judit Varga, although she should have stepped down much earlier, when the bailiff mafia case broke out,"

László Toroczkai, president of Mi Hazánk Mozgalom (Our Homeland Movement) said on X (formerly Twitter).

"There is no crime more disgusting and vile than raping and assaulting children. I speak as the father of three children when I say that there is no mercy for such monsters, they deserve the most severe punishment and they should never be allowed back into society," Toroczkai said, adding that a better punishment for paedophiles than the death penalty is "life imprisonment, a labour camp where they are locked up with lots of criminals".

Direct presidential elections and a common opposition candidate

According to the MSZP, the resignation of Katalin Novák and the withdrawal of Judit Varga are not the end of the story. "The true function of the institution of the presidency must be restored: it should express the unity of the nation and guard the democratic functioning of the state", the Socialists said in their statement.

Like other parties, they are also calling for direct elections of the head of state. MSZP has also initiated setting up a parliamentary committee of inquiry, which would be tasked with reviewing the pardon and the countersigning and with fully investigating the entire case that lead to Novák’s resignation.

"We welcome the resignation of Katalin Novák. The time has come for direct elections for head of state." – the Jobbik-Conservatives said in response to the resignation of the President. The party, like DK, will once again table an amendment to the Fundamental Law proposing the direct election of the President of the Republic.

According to Jobbik,

"We've had enough of Viktor Orbán appointing his loyal cadres to one of the most important offices in the country".

They demand that candidates for the presidency run for office directly. "We hope that Orbán will announce an amendment to the Fundamental Law on this issue with the same record speed he ran to Katalin Novák’s rescue a few days ago, but to no avail".

"The resignation of Katalin Novák and Judit Varga's withdrawal from public life are tantamount to a double confession, and the paedophile scandal of the now former President and the now former Minister of Justice is not a system error, but the system itself. It's the corrupt system of Fidesz" – Párbeszéd-Zöldek (Greens) said in their reaction. The fact that two out of the three Fidesz-appointed presidents wound up disgraced and scandal-ridden clearly shows

"the intellectual and moral quagmire into which Orbán and his party have dragged our country".

According to Párbeszéd-Zöldek, "it is time for those who support the Hungarian Republic, the parties of the democratic opposition to jointly nominate a new head of state who not only represents the unity of the nation, but also exemplifies that the Hungarian people want to live in a society that truly cares for and helps each other, and is based on solidarity".

DK is collecting signatures for a direct popular vote on the new President of the Republic. They are proposing that the election of the head of state be held on 9 June, on the same day as the municipal elections and the elections for the European Parliament.

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