Hungary may soon have its first female president

Minister without portfolio for family affairs Katalin Novák. (source: Facebook)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Hungary could soon have its first female president after the country’s ruling Fidesz party nominated government minister, Katalin Novák, for the role on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced her nomination, which would see Novák replace the outgoing President János Áder whose second and final term will expire on March 13.

In accordance with the country’s constitution, his successor must be elected 30 to 60 days prior to the expiry of his mandate.

Responding to her nomination, Novák posted on her social media: “To represent Hungary, to serve the entire Hungarian nation — I am preparing for this challenging task with faith, soul and heart.

“I respectfully accept the invitation of the president-designate of the republic. I will remain who I am.”

Novák, 44, is a trained economist, the current vice-president of Fidesz since November 2017 and has been the minister for family affairs since October 2020. In Hungary as in most Central European countries with the notable exception of Romania the presidential position is mostly ceremonial, with some limited powers not to countersign laws passed by parliament.

The president is elected by the unicameral parliament consisting of 199 MPs. In the first round, the winning candidate must acquire two thirds of the votes. If this is not achieved, the second round only requires a simple majority of the voting MPs, of which the ruling Fidesz party holds a two-thirds majority.

The opposition parties have not yet announced a candidate for the position.

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