Hungary president resigns after plagiarism row

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Hungary president resigns after plagiarism row

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Hungarian President Pal Schmitt has resigned after being involved in a plagiarism scandal.

Semmelweis University in Budapest stripped him of his Ph.D in sports last week. After conducting an investigation, the university found 180 pages of Schmitt’s 215-page dissertation were ‘partially identical’ to another work and 17 pages were ‘completely identical’.

As the row rumbled on for months, Schmitt previously resisted calls to step down, saying his presidency and doctorate were completely separate.

Protesters took to the streets of Budapest on Saturday, chanting “Pal Schmitt, pack your things” in the direction of the presidential palace.

Opposition parties also banded together to call for the 69-year old’s resignation.

He is the first president to step down from the largely ceremonial role since Hungary’s transition to democracy in 1990.

Schmitt won two gold medals for fencing in 1968 and 1972.

He is also a close ally of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban.