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Katalin Novák elected President of Hungary

March 12th, 2022

Left and right-wing commentaries offer diametrically opposing evaluations of the newly elected President. One side points out her allegiance to the government, while the other welcomes her promise to build peace and understanding.

Ms Novák (44) has served in PM Orbán’s government as Minister of Family Affairs and was Deputy Chair of the governing party until her nomination for President of the Republic. She is the first woman to hold this job. She was elected in the first round of the vote in Parliament on Thursday, with just over two thirds of the ballots.

On InfoRadio, Andrea Virág, a senior researcher at the Liberal Republikon think tank said that although Ms Novák is undoubtedly one of the most popular Fidesz politicians, the other half of the country will not regard her as a representative of national unity. (‘The President of the Republic represents the unity of the nation’, the Fundamental Law reads.) Fidesz is only supported by roughly half the electorate, Virág points out.

In Népszava, Miklós Hargitai accuses Ms Novák of supporting a far-right vision in family politics, including an absolute condemnation of abortion. The left-wing columnist also suspects that her perspective on these issues was originally devised in Russia.

In his editorial on Magyar Nemzet, Tamás Toót-Holló condemns those opposition MPs who boycotted the inauguration ceremony of the newly elected President. He reminds them that while in her address to Parliament before the vote, she expressed the hope that Hungarians will return Fidesz to power on 3 April, she also vowed that she would serve peace and understanding.