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Former Foreign Min. Martonyi Advocates Nomination of Katalin Novák as Hungary’s Next President

Péter Cseresnyés 2022.01.07.

“Now would be an opportunity, in a world of mistrust, to put our trust in someone who could be all of ours,” said former foreign minister, János Martonyi, in a recent op-ed in which he advocates for the nomination of Fidesz’s former vice-president and Family Minister Katalin Novák, as Hungary’s next President.

In an opinion piece published in pro-Fidesz weekly Mandiner, János Martonyi, who served as Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in the first and second Orbán administrations, defended Katalin Novák against the criticism according to which the Fidesz politician would be unable to represent the unity of the nation.

“What can a kindly Hungarian smile achieve in the increasingly dangerous world of competing superpowers, increasingly sophisticated nuclear and conventional weapons, mobilizations and troop withdrawals, wars, revolutions and coups, famines, epidemics and crises, global risks, and the population movements amplified by all these,” asked the former foreign minister rhetorically. “Maybe more than one would think,” he continued.

According to Martonyi, Katalin Novák’s multiple academic degrees, her confident language skills, and her diplomatic and political experience will help her to perform her future duties in a worthy manner. But there’s an even more important factor in why she will be a worthy president: the “commitment and trust…” which she embodies.

In response to criticism that the nomination of Katalin Novák would once again make a party politician president of Hungary (outgoing president János Áder was one of Fidesz’s founders, later vice-president for years and executive president for a year, and also served the party as MP, parliamentary group leader, and then as an MEP), Martonyi underlined that in almost all democratic systems the election of the president is based on political considerations.

Press Roundup: PM Orbán Nominates Katalin Novák as His Candidate for President
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Pundits across the political spectrum comment on Prime Minister Orbán’s decision to name State Secretary for Family and Youth Affairs and Fidesz vice-president Katalin Novák as the Fidesz candidate for President.Continue reading

This is particularly true in countries where the parliament elects the head of state, as in Hungary. Here, the presidents almost always represent a particular political direction and are close to a particular party. Moreover, previous positions and experience are seen as an advantage, Martonyi argues.

That’s why he indirectly calls on even the opposition parties to support Novák’s nomination.

Now would be an opportunity, in this world of mistrust, to put our trust in someone who could be ours, all of ours… And then maybe not only our world back at home, but also the increasingly dangerous world could be a little safer and better,”

the former foreign minister concluded.

Featured photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI


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