Refugees fleeing from the war in Ukraine “feel that Hungary’s heart is now beating at the Hungarian-Ukrainian border”, Katalin Novák, the president-elect, said in an interview published by pro-Fidesz daily Magyar Nemzet on Friday.
“What we can give them is safety, well-organised services, and peace,” Novák said.
“We Hungarians are on the side of peace and wish to stay out of the war,” Novák said. “We’re not doing this to help refugees gain recognition in international politics or the media but because this is what our heart dictates.”
Novák said that in Transcarpathia, in western Ukraine, it had “never been easy to be Hungarian” in the past hundred years. “Much of what they have built up with much help from the motherland — Hungarian kindergartens, schools, churches, homes — may be emptied because of the war. The good word, the loving gesture, and material help is now needed for their survival, and our message is: you can count on us.”
Concerning the referendum held simultaneously with the general election on Sunday, Novák said: “Children are our greatest asset and their education is the unalienable right and obligation of parents.” It is the state’s obligation to ensure “conditions for a child’s healthy physical and spiritual development,” she added. Parents need help “to keep children away from any dangerous or harmful propaganda”, Novák said, adding that the coronavirus pandemic and the Ukraine war were “tangible perils providing possible cover for a clandestine ideological campaign targeting children”. That campaign “flares up from time to time and it is still under way,” she added.
On the subject of the upcoming election, Novák said the vote would be crucial “amid threats of war, pandemic, and serious challenges for the global economy and international politics.”
She encouraged voters to cast their ballot “after a thorough consideration of the real achievements of public figures, weighing candidates and with regard to the national interest.”
Featured photo illustration by Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI