BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) – Hungary’s conservative president has resigned amid public outcry over a pardon she granted to a man convicted as an accomplice in a child sexual abuse case, a decision that unleashed an unprecedented political scandal for the long-serving nationalist government.
Katalin Novák, 46, announced in a televised message on Saturday that she would step down from the presidency, an office she has held since 2022.
Protesters holding placards take part in a rally in Budapest in front of the Presidental offices on February 9, 2024, against Hungarian President Katalin Novak for secretly pardoning a criminal accomplice of a convicted child abuser. (Photo by Ferenc ISZA / AFP) (Photo by FERENC ISZA/AFP via Getty Images)
Her decision came after more than a week of public outrage after it was revealed that she issued a presidential pardon in April 2023 to a man convicted of hiding a string of child sexual abuses in a state-run children’s home.
“I issued a pardon that caused bewilderment and unrest for many people,” Novák said on Saturday. “I made a mistake.”