Fidesz to nominate János Áder for second presidential term

December 22, 2016

Hungarian President János Áder was unanimously nominated to serve a second five-year term in office during a meeting of senior Fidesz officials yesterday, contradicting earlier reports that Áder would not accept or not be allowed to keep his position.

Atv.hu reported yesterday that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had asked Fidesz officials during the party meeting at Dobogókő, northwest of Budapest, to nominate Áder for the presidency. Fidesz faction leader Lajos Kósa confirmed the party’s decision after the meeting, saying they had come to the decision after assessing the political situation and organizational and personnel questions about political campaigning ahead of the 2018 national election. Orbán will officially inform Áder of the decision before Christmas, index.hu reports.

The decision is another odd twist in the story of who will be the next Hungarian president. Rumors have been circulating all year that Áder, who has not always gone along with the will of the Prime Minister, would not be allowed to assume a second term. Earlier this year a news crew recorded leading Fidesz-KDNP politicians discussing among themselves how “Viktor” would not allow “János” to be nominated. Indeed, Orbán’s relationship with Áder has not been as congenial as with other Fidesz apparatchiks: Áder has refused on several occasions to sign controversial bills into law, or referred them to the Constitutional Court for review. Most recently, he asked the Constitutional Court to strike down a Fidesz-sponsored law which would have created a special government administrative court.

Less than two weeks ago, atv.hu reported that according to a high-level government official, Minister of Human Resources Zoltán Balog had already been chosen to succeed Áder. The report claimed that Áder had told Orbán before taking office in 2012 that he would only serve a single term, a detail which had been previously unreported. Áder has not yet officially accepted the nomination.

Before being elected President of the (Republic of) Hungary, Áder served as a Fidesz MEP.  A founding member of Hungary’s  ruling Fidesz party, Áder was a Fidesz member of parliament from 1990 to 2009, including a four-year stint (2002-2006) as the head of the Fidesz parliamentary delegation.