Hungary's opposition lead protest against Orbán's leadership

People attend a protest at Heroes' Square in Budapest, Hungary, Friday, Feb 16, 2024
People attend a protest at Heroes' Square in Budapest, Hungary, Friday, Feb 16, 2024 Copyright Associated Press
By Euronews
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Opposition leaders demonstrated against Viktor Orbán's government in Budapest on Sunday over the alleged improper use of state pardons.

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At the event held at Kossuth Lajos Square in front of Parliament, speakers from the Democratic Coalition (DK), Momentum, the Socialist Party and Parbeszed criticised Orbán's rule, as well as a pardon granted by outgoing President Katalin Novák to the deputy head of a children’s home convicted of covering up child abuse.

The protests are the latest in a series engulfing the Hungarian leader, who is facing the greatest political crisis of his 14-year premiership.

Novák and former Justice Minister Judit Varga stepped down earlier this month after it was revealed a man who covered up child sexual abuses had been pardoned by the state.

Endre K, a former deputy director of a state-run children's home, was pardoned by President Novák last year ahead of a visit by Pope Francis. The pardon was then made public earlier this February.

Klara Dobrev, DK’s shadow prime minister, said: “Orbán must go; it is Orbán’s regime that must fall, otherwise the paedophile ring will remain."

She called for “a presidential election coup” that she said was needed “because Viktor Orbán is afraid of the people”.

DK is Hungary's largest opposition party.

Orbán is currently facing a host of political pressures: a steady rise in unemployment, farmers' protests, as well as internal tension with NATO to ratify Sweden's bid to join the alliance.

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