Hungary Confirms Orban Ally Ader as President

Posted May 2nd, 2012 at 10:20 am (UTC-5)
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The Hungarian parliament has confirmed Janos Ader, a member of the ruling Fidesz party, as the country's new president, angering opposition parties that say the move gives the party too much power.

Several opposition parties boycotted Wednesday's vote, while the far-right Jobbik party voted against him. But Fidesz has a two-thirds majority in parliament, so Mr. Ader was easily confirmed.

Mr. Ader, a lawyer, is a close ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orban and has spent the last three years as a member of the European Parliament. Critics complain about his close relationship with Mr. Orban, saying he will not adequately serve as a check on the prime minister's power.

Hungary's presidency is mostly ceremonial, but the person in office is responsible for signing legislation into law. The president has the power to reject legislation by sending it back to parliament or to the constitutional court.

Mr. Ader succeeds former president Pal Schmitt. Mr. Schmitt resigned last month after Budapest's Semmelweis University revoked his 1992 doctorate after finding that much of it was plagiarized.