Hungary’s Prime Minister Nominates New President

Posted April 16th, 2012 at 5:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orban, has nominated European deputy Janos Ader to become the country's new president, after former president Pal Schmitt resigned due to a plagiarism scandal.

The parliament must approve the 52-year-old nominee. The approval is almost certain, as the prime minister's conservative Fidesz party controls two-thirds of parliamentary seats.

Ader is a close ally to the prime minister and has spent the last three years as a member of the European parliament.

The former president resigned earlier this month after being stripped of his doctorate due to plagiarism.

Mr. Schmitt said he was stepping down because, in his words, “my personal issue divides my beloved nation rather than unites it.”

Budapest's Semmelweis University revoked his 1992 doctorate after finding that much of his thesis about the modern Olympic Games had been copied from works of other authors.

Mr. Schmitt won gold medals for fencing at the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games.

The office of the president is a largely ceremonial position in Hungary.