Hungary president pressured to quit over plagiarism row

March 29, 2012 11:33

BUDAPEST - Hungarian President Pal Schmitt came under growing pressure on Thursday to stand down after being accused of plagiarizing parts of his doctoral thesis, which critics say threatens the integrity of his office.

His role is largely ceremonial but Schmitt has had an instrumental role in Prime Minister Viktor Orban's reforms, signing controversial legislation such as retroactive taxes and a $14 billion pension grab into law without once raising a veto.

Schmitt, 69, a two-time Olympic gold medal-winning fencer, became president in 2010 when Orban's ruling conservative Fidesz party elected him for a period of five years.

He has denied wrongdoing since business news portal first reported allegations in January that he had copied large parts of his thesis from other authors without proper quotation or referencing.

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