Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér likely to retire after election

January 8, 2018

Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér likely to retire after elections
Photo: MTI/Zoltán Máthé

Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér, who turns 70 this year, is not likely to take on a governmental position after the spring general election, various independent sources told Magyar Nemzet. In case of a widely anticipated Fidesz victory in the election, current Mayor of Budapest’s 8th district Máté Kocsis is likely to take Pintér’s seat, according to Magyar Nemzet’s sources.

Starting his career as a Ministry of Interior chauffeur, Pintér rose to the rank of Commissioner for Budapest Police and eventually National Commissioner of the Police before joining Viktor Orbán’s first government in 1998 as Minister of Interior. His retirement has been rumored for a while.

The probable successor, Máté Kocsis, has been controversial for his draconian policies on criminalizing homelessness, shutting down Budapest’s largest needle-exchange program, his statements on immigration and his inattention to poverty. Little would seem to qualify Kocsis, a former MP and Fidesz party communications director, for the position other than his political allegiance to Prime Minister Orbán and Fidesz.

Pintér is not the only cabinet member who will likely depart the government in the event of a spring Fidesz victory. Minister Overseeing the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár hinted last autumn that he wishes to retire from governmental work in the next parliamentary cycle, supposedly to focus on bringing developments to his constituency in Csongrád county. Current Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szíjjártó is rumored to be a likely successor to Lázár.

Magyar Nemzet’s sources also consider it likely that Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas will not get a governmental position in a possible fourth Orbán cabinet.