Katalin Novák is even less qualified than János Áder to counterbalance Viktor Orbán, said the united opposition’s joint prime ministerial candidate Péter Márki-Zay, reflecting on the Fidesz politician’s nomination for Hungary’s next president. Several opposition politicians have strongly criticized the recent announcement, saying the former Fidesz vice-president is unfit to express and strengthen the unity of the nation.
Governing Fidesz will nominate incumbent Family Minister and former Fidesz deputy leader Katalin Novák as Hungary’s next president, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced on Tuesday. Obviously, opposition politicians did not let the news pass by without a response.
The united opposition’s joint prime ministerial candidate, Péter Márki-Zay, commented on Novák’s nomination on his Facebook page. According to the mayor of Hódmezővásárhely, Orbán has recognized the demand of society welcoming more female leaders into public life, but Novák is not the right person for the job, as “she is even less qualified than János Áder to counterbalance Viktor Orbán”.
The constitutional requirement for a candidate for the office of head of state is that he or she must be a respected public figure who steps beyond party affiliation to express the unity of the nation. According to Péter Márki-Zay, Katalin Novák does not meet this prerequisite as she is the recently resigned vice-president of Fidesz.
He also wrote that Katalin Novák “bears personal responsibility for the dismantling of the rule of law, the division of the country, the organization of hate campaigns and the rampant corruption.” Péter Márki-Zay added: “She is totally unfit to be president.”
According to Ferenc Gyurcsány, Hungary’s former Socialist PM, and President of the Democratic Coalition, the shared belief that there are things in common is gone.
“Fidesz has killed the last spark of hope that the homeland’s first citizen could be the representative of all Hungarian people.”
Hungary has already had such a president, the former PM noted, referring to Hungary’s first freely elected head of state Árpád Göncz, who served in office between 1990-2000.
“The head of state will be a deputy party secretary in a one-party state experiment. The homeland is being humiliated. They are humiliating the office of head of state. Again,” said Gyurcsány on Facebook.
In a short post on social media, Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi said:
“The President should create the unity of the nation. Katalin Novák can only [create] the unity of Fidesz.”
Anna Donáth, president of Momentum, also raised her voice against Katalin Novák’s nomination.
“Let us ponder about how today Hungary, the country’s highest public dignitary, the President of our State, is unveiled only when Viktor Orbán announces it,” said Donáth, adding that “People can only sit, watch and listen to the announcement.”
The president of Momentum thinks the time has come for the direct election of the president, so that “we can build a more peaceful, cohesive and united country.” According to Donáth, the social crisis and political division would justify the election of a president who embodies the unity of the nation above and beyond the parties.
Independent MP Bernadett Szél shared a similar sentiment in a short Facebook post, reflecting on Novák’s nomination.
“As long as there is no republic, there can be no president. Once we get there, we will discuss with the people who the president should be,” Szél wrote.
In response to the government’s ’child protection law’ Péter Jakab, President of Jobbik, said that if Viktor Orbán wins the 2022 election, children still would not want sex reassignment surgeries, and the standard of living would also remain the same. Only one thing would change: Katalin Novák would replace János Áder as “the guardian of the nation’s divisions.”
Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI