Hungary’s president has resigned amid outrage over her pardoning of a man convicted in a child sexual abuse case.
President Katalin Novak has faced days of growing pressure to resign because of her controversial decision to pardon a man who was convicted of covering up crimes committed by a sexual predator at a children’s home.
According to the BBC, the 46-year-old announced in a televised message on Saturday that she would step down from the presidency, an office she has held since 2022.
“I issued a pardon that caused bewilderment and unrest for many people,” Novák said on Saturday. “I made a mistake.”
Novak – the first female president in Hungary’s history – had unleashed a political scandal unprecedented for the country’s long-serving nationalist government.
Protests calling for her to step down had been growing in Hungary.
Ms Novak apologised and said she made “a mistake” in granting the pardon.
In addition to the resignation of Ms Novak, another leading female politician from Fidesz has also resigned over the same case.
Judit Varga, who was minister of justice at the time of the pardon, countersigned the clemency decision.
The double resignation of its two most prominent female politicians is a serious setback for Mr Orban and his party, with Ms Varga due to head the Fidesz list in the European elections in June.