picture of Katalin Novák

Hungary’s political opposition reacted swiftly and strongly against the news that Fidesz would nominate Katalin Novák, Minister without Portfolio for Family Affairs (pictured), to be the next President of Hungary. Viktor Orbán made the announcement at the last Government Information briefing of the year on Tuesday, in response to a journalist’s question.

As reported earlier, the opposition’s candidate for prime minister, Péter Márki-Zay, wrote that Katalin Novák bore “personal responsibility for the dismantling of the rule of law, the division of the country, the organization of hate campaigns, and rampant corruption. She is completely unfit for the role of President of the Republic.”

Former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, the Chair of the Democratic Coalition, expressed his disappointment by posting a picture of Novák alongside former President Árpád Göncz with the words “It’s too bad that there’s nothing left of the good old things.” The photo’s caption apparently referred to the late President’s broad-based, non-partisan popularity.

Fidesz has even killed the last spark of hope that the first citizen of the country could represent all Hungarians… They humiliate their country. They humiliate the position of head of state. Once again.

-wrote Ferenc Gyurcsány on his Facebook page.

Momentum President Anna Donáth believes the issue is that someone is needed who can embody the unity of the nation, spanning the parties and standing above them.

We need to work to unify the nation… The political system has created a situation that will make one half of society angry and frustrated after the elections in April, regardless of their outcome. That is why I think we need to change the way we elect the President of Hungary after we put a new government in place. The unity of a nation can and must be represented by the nation that grants it the power.

-explained Anna Donáth.

Donáth believes that the time had come to elect Hungary’s President directly, “so that we can build a more peaceful, cohesive, and united country.”

On Facebook, Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi briefly stated:

The President of Hungary should create national unity. The only unit Katalin Novák knows is Fidesz.

Far-right party Our Homeland also called for a direct election of the head of state by the people. The party does not consider Katalin Novák a suitable candidate for the office, and it offered its own nominee for the office, historian Gyula Popély.

Jobbik President Péter Jakab said that if Viktor Orbán wins in 2022, children will continue to not want to get gender reassignment surgery, but the standard of living will remain the same as it is now, except for one difference: instead of János Áder, Katalin Novák will “guard the nation’s division.”

However, as Fidesz holds a majority of members in the National Assembly, it seems unlikely that the leaders of Hungary’s opposition will be able to do much to prevent Katalin Novák from becoming the country’s next head of state.

[Index]

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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.