Hungary’s president has nominated incumbent chief public prosecutor Péter Polt for a third term, according to a letter posted on parliament’s website on Tuesday. János Áder informed Parliamentary Speaker Lászlo Kövér about the nomination in the letter.
Polt was elected chief public prosecutor for a second, nine-year term on Dec. 6, 2010. He served his first term between 2000 and 2006.
The head of the Prime Minister’s Office, Gergely Gulyás, said the government welcomed Áder’s decision to re-nominate Polt. He said Áder was by now the third head of state to have found Polt best qualified for the post, adding that President Árpád Göncz had been the first.
He noted that Polt had been a university professor and his expertise in criminal law was unquestioned. Gulyás also said his reputation abroad was considerable. In recent years, Polt has presided over an office that has applied the law consistently and rigorously, he said, adding that the prosecution office’s efficiency indicators were among the best in Europe.
The opposition Socialists and Democratic Coalition (DK) parties called the decision a “disgrace”.
The Socialists insisted that Polt would “carry on saving corrupt Fidesz officials from imprisonment”. The president “has sent a message to all corrupt Fidesz politicians and oligarchs that they can carry on stealing,” they said in a statement, adding that Polt’s activities in his past nine years in office had provided cover for corrupt ruling politicians.
DK said in a statement that Polt had always been loyal to the ruling party, and had “swept cases against Fidesz under the carpet while fabricating cases against the opposition”. DK said that if the opposition were to win the next general election, then everyone “serving [PM Viktor] Orbán rather than the country” would have to quit their posts, “no matter how long Fidesz appointed them for”.
Featured photo (from left to right): Chief public prosecutor Péter Polt, House Speaker László Kövér, and PMO Head Gergely Gulyás. Photo by Attila Kovács/MTI