April 2, 2012 / 12:51 PM / 8 years ago

Factbox: Hungarian President Schmitt resigns

(Reuters) - Hungarian President Pal Schmitt resigned on Monday after a plagiarism dispute in which he was stripped of his doctorate.

Schmitt was elected in 2010 for a five-year term after Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party swept to power.

He was Hungary’s fourth democratically elected President after the collapse of communism in 1989.

Schmitt told parliament he would appeal the decision which revoked his doctorate and would write a new thesis.

Here are some facts about Schmitt:

* Schmitt, 69, is a former Olympic champion who rose to political prominence through sports diplomacy to become an influential member of the governing Fidesz party in Hungary.

* With political priorities firmly in line with those of Fidesz, Schmitt signed all the bills passed by the ruling majority in parliament since 2010. His role was largely ceremonial.

* A two-time Olympic champion in fencing, Schmitt won golds in Mexico City in 1968 and Munich in 1972, both in team epee. He rose through the ranks of the International Olympic Committee, and became vice president in 1995. He was shortlisted for the IOC presidency in 2001.

* Schmitt was ambassador to Spain, then to Switzerland, from 1993 to 2002. He joined the then-opposition Fidesz in 2003, at once becoming vice chairman. He won a European Parliament seat with Fidesz in 2004, and served as vice president in 2009-2010. He returned to Hungary when Fidesz won elections in April 2010.

* A father of three daughters, Schmitt speaks six languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Russian and Hungarian.

Reporting by Krisztina Than and Marton Dunai; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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