| László Beliczay/MTI

Hungarian President resigns

April 2, 2012

Hungarian President Pál Schmitt has resigned from his post. His decision comes after the doctoral committee of the SOTE University in Budapest stripped him of his doctoral title as a result of findings that he copied most of his doctoral thesis.

Speaking before the agenda in Hungarian Parliament Monday morning, Pál Schmitt was of the view that he complied with his presidential duties according to the mandates of the constitution, to his best abilities and with modesty.

He announced his resignation by arguing that the presidency is supposed to embody the unity of the nation while the issue of his doctoral thesis rather splits the nation than unite it.

Following the speech, the governing parties asked for respect for Pál Schmitt and announced that they will work to nominate and elect a new president as soon as possible. However, the opposition criticized Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for choosing Pál Schmitt as presidential nominee in 2010 and blamed him for keeping him in the post of President even after it turned out he plagiarized his doctoral thesis.

In the afternoon, the national assembly acknowledged the President's resignation. By law, the interim President is Parliamentary Speaker László Kövér.


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