Mate Kocsis - Photo: Facebook

Kocsis: New child protection regime needed

Mate Kocsis, the parliamentary group leader of ruling Fidesz, called for the introduction of a new child protection regime with clear-cut rules, in an interview with public radio on Sunday.

Kocsis said the resignations of President Katalin Novak and former justice minister Judit Varga had been “sensitive and painful losses”, adding, at the same time, that they had both made “exemplary” decisions.

He said mistakes had consequences on the right, while on the left, “there aren’t even consequences for crimes”. He said Laszlo Varju of the opposition Democratic Coalition, who has been convicted of assault, “is still holding on to his seat”. He said now was an opportunity for Varju and former Momentum leader Andras Fekete Gyor, who was recently convicted of violence against an official, to demonstrate that those on the left can also take responsibility for their actions.

On another subject, Kocsis said Sweden had “made several gestures” towards Hungary in recent weeks, including a visit by Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson. He said it was more the left-wing and liberal parties in Sweden that had “disparaged” Hungary, but this was “either actively, or at lease passively tolerated by the entire Swedish political elite”.

He said the gestures gave cause for hope, and Fidesz’s parliamentary group no longer saw any obstacles to ratifying Sweden’s NATO membership.

Meanwhile, Kocsis said Fidesz saw Tamas Sulyok, the current head of the Constitutional Court, and the ruling parties’ nominee for head of state, as the most qualified candidate to embody the unity of the nation.

Turning to child protection, he said the government had ordered inspections into the current state of affairs when it came to protecting children. He said Fidesz’s child protection package will contain around 20 amendment proposals, including stricter punishment for the sexual abuse of children. The possibility of imposing harsher punishment on those who help cover up child abuse will also be looked into, he added.

Also, the ruling parties will propose ending the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse and make child abusers ineligible for a certificate of good conduct, Kocsis said.

He said that if the leftist opposition truly took child protection seriously, they should have voted for the 2021 anti-paedophile law, “but they opposed this, and went to Brussels to report the government for its tightening of child protection regulations”.

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