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Why Hungary President Resigned

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The President of Hungary, Mrs. Katalin Novak, on Saturday evening resigned from her post through a live broadcast on television following her decision to release a man who had been found guilty of covering up a case of child sexual abuse.

Kovak’s decision to resign followed protests by citizens of the European country regarding her decision to grant forgiveness an official who had been jailed for forcing children to delete allegations of sexual abuse against the director of a state-run children’s home.

During a live televised speech on Saturday, the first lady said she granted the forgiveness in the belief that the convicted man did not exploit the vulnerability of the children in his care. He admitted his mistake and apologized.

“I made a mistake, because the apology and the lack of argument helped raise doubts about the zero tolerance that is applied to child abusers,” Novak said.

The controversy that led to the resignation came after the names of 25 people who were forgiven and released by Novak in April last year, as part of Pope Francis’ visit to Hungary, were made public by Hungarian media last week.

On the list of prisoners was the deputy director of children’s home near Budapest, who was imprisoned for three years after forcing the children to withdraw allegations of abuse against the director of the home. The director was imprisoned for eight years for abusing children at the state-run center. Hungarian opposition parties and protesters had been calling for her to resign, but Novak’s decision to do so was as sudden as it was unexpected.

“Today I have resigned from my office as President of Hungary. Thank you for everything to all my friends in all four corners of the world. Hungary is a good country with good people, a good partner, a good friend and a reliable partner. I am happy that in the past years I could work to raise awareness about this in the world,” Novak said via Twitter.

Judit Varga, the former justice minister who approved the amnesty, has also resigned from her new position leading the European election campaign for Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s ruling Fidesz party.

Novak became the first woman to hold the major post of Hungarian president in 2022.

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