The statement of the resigned president of the republic is given verbatim:
“Dear and dear Hungarian people from here and beyond the border! I am speaking to you now. Not to the politicians, the policy makers, but to those whom I took an oath to serve two years ago.
I took on this task because I passionately love Hungary, our country, and because I believe in you. I believe that ours is a peaceful, loving, caring nation. I believe in the silent majority, in people who work hard every day, in honor, in uprightness and in the power of love. We received these values from our grandparents and parents, and we want to pass them on to our children and grandchildren.
I made a gracious decision that caused confusion and unrest in many people. It is understandable that they expect an explanation.
The power of pardon is perhaps the most sensitive of all. Because a person’s life must be decided based on the pardon application and available information. In April last year, I decided in favor of clemency in the belief that the convict did not abuse the vulnerability of the children entrusted to him. I was wrong, because the clemency decision and the lack of justification were suitable for raising doubts about the zero tolerance for pedophilia. There is no doubt here, and there can be no doubt. I would never pardon someone who I believe is physically or mentally abusing children. That’s how it was then and that’s how it is today.
The task of the President of the Republic, also stemming from the Basic Law, is to show the unity of the nation. The child is our most important asset. I believe that the nation is united in this – despite all differences of opinion. Protecting children is our common duty. I gave birth to three children, so I personally experienced how much an unprotected, vulnerable life needs security and protection.
As a Hungarian, I would expect the president of the republic not to make mistakes. If you do, face those to whom you owe an account and take responsibility. Even by resigning from the office of President of the Republic. I apologize to those I have offended and to any victims who may have felt that I was not standing up for them. I was, am and always will be with children and families.
As head of state, I am addressing you today for the last time. I am resigning from the office of President of the Republic.
The decision was not difficult for personal reasons. It was hard because I took an oath. I now had to find an answer to the question of whether I would be able to continue exercising the office of president of the republic for the benefit of the Hungarian nation, faithful to my oath. Would I have the leeway needed to perform my duties well as a sovereign head of state? My answer to both questions is no.
I apologize to those who now feel that I am letting them down. Those who now feel that hate has overcome love.
I had to ask myself: what is the message of my decision to our children, the young Hungarians? I encourage them to serve with all their strength and talent, not to give up even in difficult moments, to hold out as long as possible, to take responsibility for their mistakes, and if they feel that they should sacrifice their sovereignty, then they should be able to hand over the place with dignity to someone else. Sovereignty is a precious treasure. Both for the person and the nation. Let’s take care of him!
Thanks! Thank you for giving purpose and meaning to the task of president of the republic. Thank you for the meetings, which were the greatest gifts of these two years. Thank you for allowing me to sit on the stool, for being able to direct attention to places that are less accessible on weekdays. To those with whom I was able to work, I would like to thank them for their high-quality work, dedication, and humanity. I thank my family for always being a reliable background. I thank István that we have been together for twenty-five years in the good and the difficult moments. Thank you for helping to show that a man can support his partner just as a woman can. I thank Ádám, Tamás and Kata for letting me be their mother, and for giving purpose to the next phase of my life after public life.
Politics is a tough, sometimes cruel world. Some people think that it is not suitable for us women. I don’t agree with that. Let’s not give up! We also need women in public life, because I believe that in time this world will become fairer, more peaceful and certainly more meaningful.
I am grateful for being able to serve the Hungarian nation.
God, bless the Hungarians! For yours is the kingdom, yours is the power, and yours is the glory.”
After the resignation of Katalin Novák, in the minutes following the announcement, Judit Varga also resigned from all her positions and announced that she would retire from public life!
Katalin Novák’s pardon scandal
As is known, on April 27, 2023, President Katalin Novák pardoned the former deputy director of the children’s home in Bicske, who was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in prison because
- knew that, yet did nothing,
- also wrote a false affidavit on behalf of one of the children,
- he wanted the child in question to sign the false confession in his own office, in the presence of the pedophile director.
After the outbreak of the scandal, in addition to the masses demanding Novák’s resignation, his advisers distanced themselves from him and his decision. First, Gábor Gundel-Takács, and shortly afterwards János Lackfi also announced his departure. After that, Szörényi suddenly resigned from his position as an advisor, and Tomán Szabina publicly informed the President of the Republic that “I will not be an accomplice”.
And if that wasn’t enough, yesterday, that is, on Thursday afternoon, Viktor Orbán himself expressed a harsh criticism of what happened, and even submitted a constitutional amendment so that it would no longer be possible to grant amnesty to someone who committed an intentional crime against a minor.
Madam President, the final question must now be answered by you! – Let’s explain once again what the person who was pardoned by Katalin Novák did
By the way, Novák responded not long ago to the question of why he pardoned Endre K. – who we know fled to Transylvania from the scandal – but his response was far from satisfactory.
Katalin Novák reacted, but did not answer
– I am disgusted by pedophilia, I consider it one of the most disgusting and serious crimes Novák stated on Tuesday, then added: he would remind everyone that he was one of the vanguards of stricter action against pedophiles and the introduction of the pedophile registry. He noted that, in addition to the fact that there is a political discrediting campaign against him, the reasons for presidential pardon decisions are not public, meaning that he does not need to reveal why he acted in this way.
There is no concrete answer, but more of a side talk… This is not an explanation for a clear question: why did a pedophile pardon his accomplice? Just as it is also “crippling” that the pardon decision does not have to be justified. There is no legal regulation for this, the fact that it has been done this way for decades is simply an awkward explanation. You can change this at any time if you want.
On Friday, there was a large demonstration in Budapest demanding the resignation of Katalin Novák. On Saturday, publicist Zsolt Bayer and opinion leader of the ruling party addressed Katalin Novák on behalf of the Fidesz camp. Bayer said that Novák should be given an explanation for his decision, which, although legally clear, touched the pro-government community from a moral point of view. In the morning, news had already arrived that Katalin Novák had returned home to Budapest after interrupting her trip to Qatar.
Judit Varga’s role in the pedophile’s accomplice
However, Katalin Novák did not “decide” alone in the case. According to the rules of pardon procedures, even if the head of state pardons someone, if the decision is not signed by the current minister of justice, it will not come into force. At the time of the incident, Judit Varga was the competent portfolio manager, so public opinion considers her to be just as responsible in the case as the president of the republic.
One of the strange contradictions of the matter is that the law does not at all prohibit Katalin Novák from publicly justifying her pardon decision.