in Hungary president Katalin Novák too the difference may slow down the ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership in the Hungarian parliament.
In addition, the scandal has started a snowball effect that may destabilize the prime minister who has centralized power Viktor Orbán position.
Novák announced of his separation on Saturday after it was revealed that the president had pardoned a man who had covered up abuse at a children’s home. As president, Novák pursued a family policy based on traditional values.
The political turmoil also affects Sweden. Hungary is the last NATO country that has not ratified Sweden’s membership.
Hungarian Telex news site by Speaker of Parliament László Köver perform the duties of the president until Novák’s successor is chosen.
Kövér has publicly opposed the ratification of Sweden’s membership. The speaker has accused both Sweden and Finland of insulting Hungary.
Even if the deputy who replaces Kövér as speaker takes the ratification to Parliament, Kövér, who performs the duties of the president, may delay the final approval. In Hungary, the president signs the laws. He can send the laws back to Parliament or the Constitutional Court for consideration.
Prime minister Viktor Orbán has promised to ratify the membership as soon as it is possible, but has not kept the promise. Orbán’s ruling party, Fidesz, did not participate in the extraordinary session called by the opposition in early February.
Hungary has drifted into a political crisis because of the amnesty scare, because Orbán lost another important ally at once. In addition to Novák, the former Minister of Justice and a close ally of Orbán Judit Varga announced that he was leaving politics because of the amnesty scandal.
He was the second signatory in the amnesty of the man who covered up the abuse. Varga has been one of the most visible ministers of the Orbán administration in Europe and a rare woman in the government.
Varga was supposed to be Fidesz’s top candidate in June’s EU parliamentary elections. His decision to leave politics is a big loss for Orbán, who is chasing a big win for the far-right in the European elections.
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The amnesty has not been directly linked to Orbán, although both Novák and Varga are loyal allies of the prime minister.
Scandal it’s not over yet. It is still open why Novák decided to pardon the man who covered up the abuse before the Pope’s visit in April 2023.
Investigative journalism Direkt36 and Telex told unnamed government sources referring tothat the amnesty would have been pushed behind the scenes by a former minister and bishop of Orbán’s government Zoltán Balog.
Shortly after the divorce announcements, Judit Varga’s ex-husband Peter Magyar accused Orbán’s inner circle of concentrating power and money.
Magyar’s comments have raised a storm in Hungary. It is rare for someone close to the inner circle of power to openly accuse the administration of corruption.
The majority of Hungarian media is under the political control of the Orbán administration.
Director of the Human Rights Organization Hungarian Helsinki Committee Márta Pardavi pointed out in the message service X that it was the Hungarian independent media that revealed the abuse and questionable amnesty in the children’s home.
The president resigned after the news website 444.hu last week revealedhow one of those pardoned in April was the deputy director of the children’s home who covered up the abuse.