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Weeklies on events since President Novák’s resignation

February 26th, 2024

Commentators assess a wide range of issues connected to the paedophile pardon scandal, from the role of women in politics to why the opposition parties seem unable to profit from the failures on the government side.

In Magyar Narancs, Noémi Szécsi takes the case of the two women who had to resign from high posts as proof that women only play weak political roles. She views both former president Novák and former justice minister Judit Varga who had to give up her ambition to be Fidesz frontrunner in the European election as figures sacrificed by male politicians.

Demokrata’s Gábor Bencsik, on the other hand, sees them as exceptionally valuable members of the right-wing political community who had the moral strength to resign after making a mistake by granting a pardon to the helper of a paedophile offender. He hopes that the right-wing community has only lost them temporarily.

In Heti Világgazdaság, Réka Kinga Papp finds it telling that it was Youtubers and other Internet influencers who were able to organise a 150,000 strong meeting in Budapest to express dissatisfaction with the government over the pardon issue and more. However, she warns, real political change will need a new political generation to appear.

In Jelen, Zoltán Lakner believes that the paedophile pardon scandal opened an unexpected opportunity for the opposition to take the lead, expressing popular dissatisfaction over a moral issue. However opposition politicians are busy outmanoeuvring each other rather than building strong coalitions ahead of the local elections in June, he complains.

In his Magyar Hang editorial, Szabolcs Szerető also remarks that the opposition seems unable to exploit the opportunity provided by the scandal. Rather than coordinating their strategies, he explains, opposition parties decided to run separately for seats in the European Parliament, although, if united, they could force Fidesz below the ’psychologically important 50% level’ in the European elections.

In Mandiner, Dániel Kacsoh accuses the organisers of the large mid-February anti-government demonstration of falsely claiming that they were apolitical. In reality, he continues, they played the role of the leaders of a crowd hoping (in vain, he adds) to achieve a change in government. Meanwhile, the opposition parties have again proven helpless and had no better idea than to come forward with the hopeless initiative that the president of the Republic be elected by direct plebiscite, rather than by Parliament, he writes.


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