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Hungary's parliament elects Pal Schmitt president

BUDAPEST, June 29 (Reuters) - The Hungarian parliament elected Pal Schmitt, a leading figure of the governing Fidesz party and currently speaker of parliament, as the country’s next president on Tuesday.

Out of 322 valid votes in the 386-seat parliament, Schmitt received 263 votes, while his Socialist challenger Andras Balogh got 59 votes.

Schmitt, a 68-year-old diplomat and former Olympic champion in fencing, will take over from President Laszlo Solyom on Aug. 6 after Solyom’s term expires on Aug. 5.

Schmitt’s political priorities are firmly in line with those of centre-right Fidesz. (Reporting by Marton Dunai)

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