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President Novák vetoes whistleblower law

April 27th, 2023

A left-wing commentator suspects that the veto was just meant to boost Ms Novák’s prestige. A pro-government columnist sees the presidential veto as proof that democracy works in Hungary.

President Novák has urged Parliament to strike down a controversial paragraph of the law approved earlier this month that transposes an EU directive protecting whistleblowers. She argued that the provision which offers protection to those who report on people who challenge the “constitutionally recognized role of marriage and the family” or contest children’s rights “to an identity appropriate to their sex at birth” would stoke conflict within society.

In Népszava, Ágnes Huszár likens the move by the President to a dance show when all dancers have their predetermined roles. She enumerates a series of laws passed by parliament since Ms Novák came into office that in her view should have been vetoed but Ms Novák signed them without blinking an eyelid. As a result, Huszár continues, the President’s reputation has sunk below tolerable levels, and this is why the ‘propaganda machine’ offered her a chance to veto a law and thus boost her prestige.

On Mandiner, Csaba B. Almási regrets that critics of the government try to belittle the President’s decision instead of welcoming it. He dismisses the views of those who allege that the presidential veto was prompted by Prime Minister Orbán to avoid potential sanctions by the European Union. He predicts that Parliament will accept the President’s critique and strike out the paragraph she opposes.

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