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Hungary’s first female president! 44-year-old can speak five languages, has three children

Hungary’s National Assembly voted on March 10 to elect Katalin Novak as the country’s first-ever female president. Nowak, 44, a close ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, also became Hungary’s youngest head of state.

Katalin Novak

On the same day, the results of the National Assembly vote showed that Novak, who belongs to the ruling party Fidesz, won 137 of the 188 valid votes, more than 2/3 of the required number of votes, and was elected as the next Hungarian president. The opposition coalition’s presidential candidate, economist Peter Rona, lost to Novak by just 51 votes.

Previously, Novak served as Minister of Family Policy in the Hungarian government. She described her election as a victory for women.

“We women raise children, take care of the sick, cook, and if need be, do two jobs at the same time: earning money and teaching, winning Nobel Prizes and cleaning windows,” Novak said in a speech before the congressional vote.

Novak speaks to Congress

“We know the power of words, but we can be quiet and listen when we need to. When faced with danger, we also defend our families with more than men’s courage,” Novak said. “Not only because I want to be a good Hungarian president, also because I am a woman.”

Earlier, she tweeted a photo of herself with her husband and three children on social media, writing: “The presidential election is about to begin. My family is with me and it means a lot to me. “

Novak tweeted a photo of her with her family

Novak, the former vice-president of Fidesz, will succeed Janos Ader, the party’s co-founder. Ade has been president since 2012, and his term expires on May 10 and is succeeded by Novak. Novak will be Hungary’s youngest-ever head of state.

Hungary implements a parliamentary system, with the prime minister as the head of government; the president is the head of state and the commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces, elected by the parliament. Hungary joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.

Novak was born on September 6, 1977 in the southern city of Szeged, Hungary. He studied economics at Corvinus University, studied law at Szeged University, and studied at Paris X University in France.

In addition to his native Hungarian, Novak speaks fluent English, French and German, as well as simple Spanish. She has lived and worked in the US, France, Germany, and spent 7 years in Germany where her husband worked. The two have three children, the oldest born in 2004 and the youngest born in 2008.

Novak has been in Hungarian politics since 2001. He has served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Resources. Since 2014, he has been the Secretary of State in charge of Family and Youth Affairs. In 2018, he became a Member of Parliament. . She also served as the vice-chairman of the FYD from 2017-2021. She is one of the few women in Orbán’s government to hold a senior position.

Novak has been the face of family policy

In recent years, as the Hungarian government attaches great importance to family policy, it has introduced a series of welfare measures to encourage young families to have children and reduce support costs, such as preferential loans for house purchases, house decoration subsidies, and personal income tax relief, which has won the support of many people. It is also a “package” plan that the Orban government often publicizes in a high-profile manner. Novak has been the face of this policy.

It is reported that Hungary will hold parliamentary elections on April 3. AFP said Orbán will face an uphill battle to win his fourth consecutive term since 2010.

Peter Marki-Zay leads an opposition coalition hoping to oust Orbán next month. Marki Zai accused Novak of her partisan background, saying she was “unfit” for the presidency.

Source: Southern Metropolis reporter Shi Minglei

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