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Áder compelled to take sides

March 15th, 2013

A popular centrist analyst believes that by deciding to sign the controversial constitutional amendments, the President has given up his effort to stand above the political fray.

The president obviously felt cornered when he had to make his decision,” political scientist Gábor Török writes in his regular blog. He recalls how hard Mr Áder has tried to fend off the accusation of being “a party soldier”, ever since his election last year. (See BudaPost, May 4 2012.) And he has not been unsuccessful, Török concedes. He was a founding Fidesz member but struck a strikingly balanced tone in his speeches, and has vetoed several bills passed by his former party’s parliamentary majority. (See BudaPost, January 7). No wonder that his popularity is far higher than that of his predecessor, who had to resign in the wake of an unpleasant plagiarism scandal. (See BudaPost, April 4, 2012.) Török does not share the President’s opinion that he simply had no choice but to sign the constitutional amendments, which continue to stir up an unprecedented scandal abroad and bitter protest amongst the opposition in Hungary. Nevertheless, he admits that Mr Áder’s interpretation of the rules is a legitimate one. He believes the President was too vague when remarking that no matter what his personal opinion might be, the Basic Law leaves him no option but to sign. (See BudaPost, March 14.) Török thinks Áder should have made his opinion clearer than that, in order to prevent being accused of following a partisan logic.

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