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PM Orbán tables constitutional amendment to bar paedophile offenders from pardon

February 10th, 2024

A journalist believes the Prime Minister’s announcement is a damage control measure after the widely negative reactions to the news that President Katalin Novák pardoned a man who tried to whitewash a paedophile offender.

Opposition parties demanded the President to resign and held demonstrations in protest as the news of the pardon surfaced last week. (See BudaPost, February 8) Prime Minister Orbán announced on Thursday that he had already tabled a constitutional amendment to ensure that paedophile offenders are not eligible for presidential pardon.

In one of the first media comments on the constitutional amendment, journalist Szabolcs Szerető told ATV television that PM Orbán obviously dissociated himself from President Novák. Szerető added he wouldn’t be surprised if Ms Novák resigned in the near future. Disavowing the President who was the Prime Minister’s personal choice, Szerető remarked, must have been a painful gesture, but was probably deemed necessary to calm rank-and-file Fidesz supporters who must have been confused by the events, as Fidesz has framed itself over the past years as a strong defender of children against paedophilia and all forms of sexual propaganda. Meanwhile, Szerető also had doubts about pinpointing one category of offences as unpardonable. ‘What about terrorism, for instance?’ he asked.



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