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Submitted by JP on Mon, 02/26/2024 - 18:10
Hungarian Parliament Elects Tamas Sulyok as New Head of State

The Hungarian Parliament elected Tamás Sulyok as the President of the Republic on Monday. The president of the Constitutional Court, who was the only candidate for the position, received 134 supporting votes in the secret ballot. After the speaker's announcement of his election, Tamás Sulyok was sworn in as the head of state. He will take office on March 5 and will be the seventh president of the republic since the regime change.

Tamás Sulyok. Photo by MTI /Zsolt Szigetváry

Several opposition politicians did not participate in the vote, and called for direct presidential elections instead of appointments by vote in parliament. Out of the 198 lawmakers, 146 participated in the voting, with 134 votes in favor, five against and seven invalid.

Tamás Sulyok comes from a family of lawyers: his father and two brothers are both lawyers. He was born on March 24, 1956 in the small town of Kiskunfélegyháza in central Hungary. In 1980 he graduated in law from the University of Szeged, and in 2013 he obtained his doctorate. He has been practicing as a lawyer since 1982. He is also an academic lecturer (lectures at ELTE in Budapest and at the University of Szeged). Sulyok served as the honorary Austrian consul between 2000 and 2014. He has been a member of the Hungarian Constitutional Court since 2014, and since November 22, 2016, he has been its president.

Tamás Sulyok has been elected for a mandate of five years and can be re-elected for one more term according to the fundamental law. His inauguration ceremony is scheduled for March 5th.

Tamás Sulyok replaces Katalin Novák, who announced on February 10 that she was stepping down amid a scandal related to her pardon of a man sentenced to prison for complicity in covering up a child sexual abuse case. The parliament officially accepted the resignation of Katalin Novák at today's meeting. On Monday, the speaker of the Budapest parliament also announced the official end of the mandate of former Justice Minister and Hungarian MEP Judit Varga, who announced she was withdrawing from politics. It was she who, as the Minister of Justice, signed an application to President Katalin Novák to pardon a man convicted of covering up pedophilia cases.