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Hungarian parliament elects top court chief as new president

Hungarian parliament elects top court chief as new president
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Monday, 26 February, 2024, 23:06

Hungary's parliament elected Constitutional Court chief Tamas Sulyok as the country's next president on Monday, two weeks after the unexpected resignation of Katalin Novak.
Novak, a close ally of conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban, resigned from the largely ceremonial role as president after she came under mounting pressure for pardoning a man convicted of helping to cover up sexual abuse in a children's home. Sulyok's swift election could help Orban regain the political initiative after a scandal that appeared to clash with one of his party's key tenets: its commitment to traditional family and Christian values.
Parliament elected Sulyok for five years with the backing of lawmakers from Orban's ruling party, which has a commanding majority.
"Just as a lawyer, also as President of the Republic, I can best serve the public good and stand for the unity of the nation by upholding the fundamental values of the law," Sulyok said in a statement after his nomination.In a brief speech after his election, he promised transparency in his decisions about presidential pardons and awards.
Sulyok has been the president of Hungary's top court since 2016, a mandate he also received with the backing of lawmakers from the Fidesz ruling party.
He is expected to take up the role on March 5.