President Katalin Novak of Hungary has announced her resignation from office in response to growing public outcry over her choice to pardon a man who was involved in a case of child sexual assault. During a nationally televised statement on Saturday, Novak stated, “I decided to grant a pardon last April, believing that the convict did not exploit the vulnerability of the children whom he had overseen.””I made a mistake because the pardon and my lack of logic helped to raise questions about the zero tolerance policy regarding pedophilia,” she stated.Thousands of demonstrators demanding Novak’s resignation flocked to the streets of Budapest, the nation’s capital, on Friday. Ahead of Pope Francis’s visit in April 2023, Novak had pardoned over two dozen individuals, including the deputy director of a children’s home who had assisted the former director in concealing his misdeeds. According to Reuters, the director was found guilty of sexually abusing young boys between 2004 and 2016 and received an eight-year prison sentence.The penalty for the deputy director was three years.Protesters showed up outside Novak’s office when she was gone on an official visit to Doha, as reported by Reuters.Opposition parties in Hungary have called for Novak’s resignation. Novak, a former family minister, is a close associate of Viktor Orbán, the extreme nationalist prime minister of Hungary. She was the first woman to assume the mostly ceremonial position of president of Hungary in 2022.

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