picture of László Kövér

Hungary’s political opposition unanimously called on László Kövér (pictured) to resign after it was revealed that the Parliamentary Speaker had said to senior intelligence officers at a closed event last year that the opposition posed the greatest threat to national security, and that he expected them to deal with it.

It is shocking and unacceptable that the Speaker of the National Assembly and Fidesz urges the leaders of the national security services to violate the rule of law and their constitutional duty by identifying the opposition as the most serious threat to national security, expecting it to be ‘eliminated.’ Kövér’s words may also be indirect evidence of Pegasus-gate’s use of Israeli spyware, which was purchased by the Hungarian state ostensibly to prevent terrorism and crime, but used to monitor opposition figures such as politicians, journalists, media owners, civilians, and activists. Let’s be clear: with this speech, László Kövér is also inciting action against millions of Hungarian citizens who are opposed to the Orbán regime.

-read the joint statement issued from the DK, MSZP, Dialogue, LMP, MMM, and Jobbik parties.

They also claim that based on the facts of “Pegasus-gate,” the dirtiest Hungarian scandal in the last 30 years, Viktor Orbán and his government are unworthy of representing the citizens of Hungary, just as László Kövér has no place in Hungarian public life.

Investigative news outlet Direkt36 revealed early Saturday that Kövér had delivered the speech in question on February 28, 2020 at the headquarters of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, at a ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of the National Security Services.

Referring to Fidesz, Kövér told the participants last year that “part of the Hungarian political class thinks in a self-governing state and a self-aware nation, which believes in it and works for it.” He then went on to say that “the other side of politics acts in the spirit of the political tradition of a self-resigning state and self-torturing nation.”

“I consider this political situation to be the most dangerous threat to national security that threatens Hungary today,”

-Kövér then stated.

Direkt36 noted that it is not uncommon for Kövér to harshly criticize the opposition, but what makes these leaked comments different is, as a high-level government authority and one of the ruling party’s most influential politicians, formulating his thoughts into guidance for civilian national security leaders.

However, the Speaker of the Assembly did not give any details on what specific actions he expected from the services.

Audio of Kövér’s comments can be heard (in Hungarian) here:

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By Steven N.

Steven is the editor-in-chief of Hungarian Politics. He has been following the political scene in Hungary and the Central European region more or less since 1994.