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Speaking ahead of parliament’s vote on the new head of the Kúria, Hungary’s supreme court, the leftist Democratic Coalition (DK) said it would boycott the vote, while green LMP had said it would reject the appointment of Zsolt András Varga, nominated by President János Áder earlier this month. DK lawmaker László Sebián-Petrovszki said Varga had “never been a judge and not passed a single sentence”. Sebián-Petrovszki also noted that Varga had been the chief public prosecutor’s deputy for nearly ten years and in this capacity he had “assisted in scandalous cases” during the Fidesz governments. The deputy said that “Fidesz’s attempt to make a prosecutor chief judge” was unprecedented in Europe, and insisted that it would be a “profanation” of the principle of the separation of government branches. DK will appeal against the procedure to the European Commission and other forums, Sebián-Petrovszki said. In a statement, LMP group leader Lóránt László Keresztes also cited Varga’s lack of experience. He noted that the National Judiciary Council had also rejected to endorse the nomination. Koloman Brenner, Deputy House Speaker for the conservative opposition Jobbik party, called the nomination a “disgrace”, adding that Varga had been “the right hand” of Chief Public Prosecutor Péter Polt and had so far worked in a “dictatorial system based on following orders”. Speaking at a press conference in front of Parliament, Brenner called the nomination “another level of undermining the judiciary, thereby dismantling Hungarian democracy”.
The mandate of Péter Darák, the incumbent head of the Kúria, will expire on January 1, 2021.