László Kövér has served as Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary since August 6, 2010, when he replaced Pál Schmitt, who left the position to become President of Hungary. Kövér is widely considered to be Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s closest political ally.
Grew up in the city of Pápa (population 32,000, northwestern Hungary), where he finished high school in 1978. Attended the Loránd Eötvös University School of Law and Political Sciences in Budapest, where he received a degree in 1986.
Spent the year 1986 as researcher at the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party Central Committee Social Sciences Institute (Magyar Szocialista Munkáspárt Központi Bizottsága Társadalomtudományi Intézete). Received a Soros Foundation scholarship to continue his research on social movements in central Europe privately in the years 1987–1988.
Was one of 37 founding members of Fidesz on March 30, 1988.
Has been Fidesz National Assembly representative in all parliamentary cycles since the System Change in 1990. Was a member of the National Assembly’s National Security Committee from 1990 until September 2010, resigning from the committee following his appointment to the position of speaker. Was chairman of the National Security Committee from 1990 to 1993 and 2002 to 2006.
Served as Minister without Portfolio in Charge of the Civilian Secret Services (A titkosszolgálatokért felelős tárcanélküli miniszter) during first Orbán government, from July 1998 to May 2000.
Was president of Fidesz from January 2000 until May 2001.
Turns 57 years old in 2016.
“I consider this whole thing to be a rubber bone, a bogus debate and substitute for action that irritates me to no end. . . . I believe that this is an inner affair among intellectuals . . . even the smallest problem that people have is big enough so that they have better things to do.” March 16, 2012, speaking with regard to the issue of making access to communist-era domestic-intelligence files open to all Hungarian citizens (source in Hungarian).
“They would like to finally get themselves beaten up in order to demonstrate that there is a raging dictatorship in Hungary. To this I say that my dear Politics Can Be Different . . . fellow National Assembly representatives should pay for a private security firm out of the party’s budget and have themselves given a real good beating and quit fooling around with public money.” July 15, 2012, with regard to the Politics Can Be Different protest at the headquarters of the Lajos Simicska-owned construction company Közgép in Budapest (source in Hungarian).
“We have lived together through good and bad, trouble and joy. Not one single time have we disavowed one another, nor shall we.” February 27, 2013, referring to pro-Fidesz journalist Zsolt Bayer at the latter’s 50th birthday celebration (source in Hungarian).
“They totally rotted the country to pieces. . . . and what they could not, they stole.” May 22, 2013, referring to the previous Hungarian Socialist Party governments during an Alliance of Christian Intellectuals roundtable discussion (source in Hungarian).
“It would be worth considering over the long-term if it wouldn’t be good to give the government a greater mandate, greater room to maneuver so that it can react to the everyday challenges and vibrations of life and to relax the obligation of the legislative branch stemming from the mistrust and suspicious attitude toward authority in the post-dictatorial period . . . . As a result of this, a practice emerged that we want to regulate everything according to law. . . .” September 9, 2013, during interview with InfoRádio (source in Hungarian starting from minute 21:00).
” . . . there exists a growth [képződmény] called Ferenc Gyurcsány in politics that must be talked about only because it is such a scandal that it is here with us to this day. Its presence is a festering wound on the corpus of democracy.” December 28, 2013, during an interview on the pro-government television station EchoTV (source in Hungarian).
“What can you say about so many idiots?” February 6, 2014, referring to Politics Can Be Different National Assembly representatives who blasted megaphones in the legislature’s session chamber to protest the impending adoption of the Hungarian-Russian agreement to build new reactors at the Paks Nuclear Power plant (source in Hungarian).
“The objective of this circus is to separate Europe from Russia once and for all.” September 3, 2013, speaking with regard to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia to young Eastern Europeans participating in the Freedom Express study trip (source in Hungarian).
“A portion of the Western press is lying just like Pravda did back in the day.” September 3, 2013, speaking with regard to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia to young Eastern Europeans participating in the Freedom Express study trip (source in Hungarian).
“Unfortunately the stupidity comes from the West. The military threat from the East, as NATO has perceptively determined, and the stupidity from the West. At least recently.” September 8, 2014, speaking at a local forum in the town of Mezőtúr in southeastern Hungary (source in Hungarian).
“In this regard Brussels really does remind me of Moscow, where it was customary to occasionally call together party secretaries from the socialist camp who then issued joint statements reducing people to obedience. If this is the future of the European Union, then it would truly be worthwhile to think about how to back out of it nice and slowly and cautiously.” October 23, 2014, during an interview with the pro-government television station Echo TV (source in Hungarian).
“Nobody in Western Europe possesses any kind of moral superiority that would enable them to say, to explain to us how to behave as a democrat. We have done quite a lot for the freedom of Europe, we paid a big enough price for the truly European values upon which we would like to base our future and thus from now on we are unwilling to have anybody teach us a lesson, at least I think this is how we should behave.” October 26, 2014, during an appearance on the pro-government television station HírTV (source in Hungarian).
“I would have nothing against thousands of people demonstrating in front of the American embassy, but this is not the time. Now, after three victorious elections, there is no need for a Peace March. Let’s rest a bit.” October 27, 2014, responding to a question from the opposition newspaper Népszabadság regarding the possibility of holding another pro-government Peace March procession in Budapest and the potential negative impact such a demonstration might exercise on U.S.-Hungarian relations (source in Hungarian).
“Singapore can in many respects serve as a model for Hungary, since along with its ethnic diversity it is a country that has established calm and security. . . .” November 4, 2014, during official visit to Singapore (source in Hungarian).
“I understand that my socialist fellow representatives can always only bear the Hungarian national flag together with a flag of another color, either red or blue—but this is the Hungarian national parliament.” November 17, 2014, after ordering the removal of a European Union flag that Hungarian Socialist Party representatives had brought into the National Assembly session chamber at the Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest (source in Hungarian).
“Unfortunately we have never been too good at diplomacy. We shouldn’t work now to get the Americans to love us either. We must look for allies elsewhere. Those who are in the same boat with us, moreover on the lower deck. These are the central and eastern European countries.” December 27, 2014, during interview with the pro-government newspaper Magyar Hírlap (source in Hungarian).
“I don’t believe that Europe exists. There exists a botched up institutional system that goes by the name European Union.” May 16, 2015, during interview on pro-government Echo TV (source in Hungarian).
“We would like it if our girls would consider self-realization of the highest quality to be bearing grandchildren for us.” December 13, 2015, during the 26th Party Congress of Fidesz (source in Hungarian).
“The world that functioned for several thousand years is in the process of disintegrating and this is horrifying. The death-of-the-nation vision is approaching, not only in Hungary, but in the member states of the European Union as well. We are unable to stop on the demographic slope, we will cease to exist [el fogunk fogyni].” December 15, 2015, during an interview on Inforádió (source in Hungarian).
“As a Hungarian political official and legislator I gradually and with even greater surprise faced the fact that the United States requires an enemy number one. Since the Soviet Union collapsed, it was necessary to find an enemy elsewhere. There was a time when everybody had to fight on the side of the USA against members of the Russian-speaking underworld, for example Semion Mogilevich. Subsequently there came an even more effective chief villain in the person of Osama bin Laden. Then after a period of uncertainty, they succeeded in identifying in the image of Russia a common enemy that would hold the empire together, thereby provoking a protracted conflict in Ukraine which—just coincidentally—divided Europe. Then the faceless demon of corruption appeared as the chief enemy threatening the national security of the USA from Alaska to Patagonia, from Greenland to the Antarctic.” December 22, 2015, during interview with pro-government website PestiSrácok.hu (source in Hungarian).
“I would be a mistake to moralize excessively regarding the unscrupulousness of American policy because it has a foundation in principle: the unrelenting representation of the business interests that stand behind the American government.” December 22, 2015, during interview with pro-government website PestiSrácok.hu (source in Hungarian).
“Many hoped in vain that after 1989, when the USA overwhelmed (legyűrte) the Soviet Union, that the liberal world peace, that is, the Pax Americana, had arrived. This is not what happened. There is a need for newer and newer enemies, conflicts and artificial disorder so that the military mechanism can remain in motion.” December 22, 2015, during interview with pro-government website PestiSrácok.hu (source in Hungarian).
“Can anybody tell me which side is pursuing precisely what objectives in the campaign against the Islamic State? The countries of central Europe are playing the role of pawn in this game of chess, though it is fortunate that they are finally beginning to recognize their own interests. All of this began with the story of Cain and Abel and whoever has the most power always plays the role of Cain. Because he wants even more power.” December 22, 2015, during interview with pro-government website PestiSrácok.hu (source in Hungarian).
“None of this would have occurred if they [the West] hadn’t to bombed to pieces viable, though undoubtedly not overly elegant, states. Thus none of this would have taken place if the most important foundation of traditional world politics had prevailed—the maintenance of the status quo—and the West had not become entangled in adventurist actions that brought even more deadly chaos upon the liberated peoples in place of the murderous régimes. Still I can’t believe that the fact that Europe hasn’t been so weak for a long time causes a big headache for the United States. It [Europe] has hardly recovered from the global economic crisis, which, nota bene, the United States again dumped on our heads, and the second unsolvable crisis is already here—migration.” December 22, 2015, during interview with pro-government website PestiSrácok.hu (source in Hungarian).
“The president of the Daimler concern made it clear not long ago: they need migrants for maintaining economic growth and to somehow counterbalance the consequences of the country’s [Germany’s] demographic catastrophe. Of course, it will not be big industry that will pay the social expenses of migration—for them it is enough if ten percent of the immigrants are capable of undertaking work. The taxpayers will support the rest. And here is where the twist comes: the mass of migrants represents not only cheap labor, but at the same time the electoral base that means survival for the left wing which everywhere is being squeezed from the vicinity of power.” December 22, 2015, during interview with pro-government website PestiSrácok.hu (source in Hungarian).
“Permanent liberation is the vital component (lételem) of the left wing. They always want to coax more and more multitudes of people into the status of oppressed pariah in order to produce the possibility of ‘liberation.’ I would not like to offend migrants of the Muslim faith, but with regard to the liberateable (felszabadítható) masses, there is no difference between them and, let’s say, transgender people in the eyes of the left wing.” December 22, 2015, during interview with pro-government website PestiSrácok.hu (source in Hungarian).
“Under what right do those—and I am not thinking of people who cannot raise a child due to circumstances beyond their control—who do nothing for the birth of new generations expect anything from the community? . . . Those who regard emphasis on the importance of raising children in itself to represent unacceptable interference in the intimate sphere should not when old and sick ask anything of those who responsibly and affectionately raised tax-paying children who are capable of sustaining society.” December 22, 2015, during interview with pro-government website PestiSrácok.hu (source in Hungarian).
“I consider the demand that nobody interfere in the lives of others to be a strange attitude. What are the legal and continually dwindling rules regarding social coexistence all about if not that the community and society ‘interfere’ in the lives of its members.” December 22, 2015, during interview with pro-government website PestiSrácok.hu (source in Hungarian).
“This world is like it is because the interests of multinational corporations are making it go round. The decay and decomposition of families, the disintegration of nations are all in the interest of this sphere in which the national borders are narrow and these interest groups don’t want there to be any sort of political and democratic control over them. Thus they now want to govern and I must add that they are making good progress because their paid-off agents and employable idiots have begun to reach the majority of the European political élite. At any rate, along with the cowards they have a clear two-thirds majority.” January 1, 2016, during interview on the pro-government television station EchoTV (source in Hungarian from 18:19).
“The internet and the media, which are difficult to regulate and controlled by international capital and big companies, play a significant role in spreading the outlook that diverges from Christian and conservative values.” May 5, 2016, during interview with the Polish Catholic weekly Gość Niedzielny (source in Hungarian).
Last updated: May 19, 2016.