Hungary: Catholic Tamás Sulyok Elected President

Source: FSSPX News

Tamás Sulyok

The Hungarian National Assembly carried out an election for the President of the Republic on Monday, February 26, 2024. Tamás Sulyok, nominated by the ruling Fidesz party, obtained the support of 134 delegates present. The opposition parties withdrew, having failed to agree on a candidate. 

The Role of the President of the Republic of Hungary 

The head of State "expresses the unity of the nation and ensures the democratic operation of institutions." He is Commander in Chief of the Hungarian army, represents Hungary, sets election dates, convenes the Assembly after elections and can dissolve it, and can also have the conformity of a law verified by the Constitutional Court. 

He also proposes the name of the Prime Minister, and himself appoints judges, ministers, the president of the National Bank, and others; he awards decorations, rewards, and titles. Finally, with the government's consent, he exercises the right of pardoning individuals. It was in exercising this right in inappropriately that Katalin Novák, the previous President, was forced to resign on February 10. 

The Journey of Tamás Sulyok 

Now 67 years old, the new President received a law degree from the University of Szeged in 1980. Unable to become a judge at the time without joining the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party (MSZMP), he became a legal adviser. After the regime change, he became a lawyer. In 2000, he was appointed Honorary Consul of Austria in Szeged. 

In 2014, he was appointed judge of the Constitutional Court. In 2020, Tamás Sulyok was elected President of the Court of Cassation.  Two years later, he was elected President of the Constitutional Court in November 2016, for 10 years. This election of Sulyok reinforced the legitimacy of the Constitutional Court. 

His Post-Election Speech 

In this speech, the new head of State wanted "to express that we, Hungarians, are a proud, European people, determined to exercise our rights by all means, and that we can do so with conviction, emotion, and humor." 

He mentioned the loss of the concept of the rule of law and its transformation within the present political approach of Europe, which is purely utilitarian. He stated that he wanted a Europe where values are more important than interests. He explained that there is no such thing as European values independent of the Member States, but that a system of European values can be developed from the constitutional values of the Member States, common to all. 

For the new President, sovereignty is conceptually indivisible and, as a consequence, the Member States of the European Union, including Hungary, do not transfer sovereignty to the Union, but competences, and they do so because the joint exercise of these competences is more effective than if they were exercised by the Member States themselves. 

"I am also firmly convinced that there is currently no single European political nation, but that only the political nations of Member States can be considered as factors in the construction of the State," he said. "This is one of the reasons the European Union is not a State."

Finally, he said, accurately, that "the fears of our predecessors that after Trianon [the Treaty of Trianon, 1920, which reduced Hungary by two thirds of its surface area], we would dissolve in a melting pot of other peoples have perhaps never been as realistic as today." 

Democracy Without Christianity Leads to Tyranny 

For Tamás Sulyok, it is a fact that the basic idea of the founding of the EU came from "Christian thought." In various articles and speeches, he has highlighted that this fact is indicative of the Pan-European movement-- of European thinkers such as Otto von Habsbourg, having had as a goal to "create the unity of a Christian Europe free of nihilism, atheism, and Communism." 

The new head of State cited several statements from these figures, according to whom democracy can necessarily only be Christian, because if it is anti-Christian, it inevitably leads to anarchy or tyranny.