Former President of the Republic of Hungary, Ferenc Mádl, died at the age of 80 just after 1 p-m. on Sunday in Budapest. The cause of death was not given.
He was the president of the country from 2000 to 2005. Beforehand, he was minister without portfolio in the first post-communist government, headed by József Antall, and was education minister in 1993-1994.
He graduated in 1955 in the public-administration and law faculty of Budapest's ELTE university before completing a law degree in Strasbourg between 1961 and 1963.
Between 1956 and 1971 he worked in the law department of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and later headed the department before pursuing a distinguished career in law.
Mádl's predecessor, Árpád Göncz, was "greatly shocked to hear of the former head of state's sudden death." Goncz's secretariat said in a statement that Goncz had greatly esteemed Madl's presidential endeavours, his academic work, and his charming and approachable personality.
Current President Pál Schmitt expressed his "deep pain" at learning of Mádl's death, the presidential office said in a statement. the presidential headquarters, the Sándor Palace held a silent commemoration in respect of the former president Sunday evening.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán wrote on his Facebook page: "We are shocked to hear the news. May he rest in peace!"
The leader of Hungary's main opposition Socialist party, Attila Mesterházy, expressed his "sincere condolences" in a statement. He said the nation would preserve the memory of Mádl in its heart.
Ferenc Mádl is survived by his wife Dalma, a son and three grandchildren.
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