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PM Orbán nominates Katalin Novák as his candidate for president

December 23rd, 2021

Pundits across the political spectrum comment on Prime Minister Orbán’s decision to name State Secretary for Family and Youth Affairs and Fidesz vice-president Katalin Novák as the Fidesz candidate for President.

Magyar Nemzet’s László Szőcs welcomes the Prime Minister’s suggestion to pick a young, highly qualified and seasoned politician as Hungary’s next President. The pro-government commentator also thinks that the nomination of a mother also sends a clear message that Hungary recognizes the performance of women without imposing gender quotas.

In Népszava, Zoltán Batka suspects that Katalin Novák as President would be unquestioningly loyal to Fidesz. The left-wing commentator acknowledges that Ms Novák is well-qualified for the job, but also thinks that she will do whatever is in the interest of her party and Prime Minister Orbán. Batka emphasises that by staffing all high public offices with loyal individuals, Fidesz wants to restrict the elbow room of a potential left-wing government. This strategy, may backfire, as combatting hostile Fidesz nominees in high offices may strengthen the cohesion and cooperation of the opposition parties, he writes.

In a Facebook comment, Gábor Török sees Novák’s nomination as a savvy move by PM Orbán. The centrist analyst notes that Parliament will elect the new President at the height of the electoral campaign, and the choice of a relatively moderate and non-combative candidate will prove helpful for Fidesz in the campaign. ‘She is higher on the marketability scale than she is low on the loyalty scale’, Török concludes.