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Hungary's President says he won't resign over plagiarism scandal

Hungary's president Pal Schmitt will remain in office despite being stripped of his PhD; will write new thesis.

Hungary phd schmitt 12 03 29Enlarge
Hungary's President Pal Schmitt giving a statement to the press in Budapest on Mar. 22, just days before Semmelweis University began proceedings to strip Schmitt of his doctorate for plagarism. (ATTILA KISBENEDEK /AFP/Getty Images)

Hungary’s president Pal Schmitt said he won’t resign despite losing his PhD due to a plagiarism scandal, the Associated Press reported.

On Friday, Schmitt appeared on television saying, there was no reason for him to go, according to Reuters. "These issues are not related in my view, even though many interpret it this way," he said.

Semmelweis University's revoked his doctorate after it was discovered that more than 200 of his 215-page 1992 thesis on the Olympic Games were either either showed "partial similarity" to other works or were direct translations, according to the BBC.

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Schmitt said his “conscience is clear” but “it didn’t feel good” to lose his PhD.

On Tuesday, a committee at Semmelweis University blamed the university for failing to notice the extensive copying or letting Schmitt know about it, thus absolving him of responsibility.

The former Olympic fencing champion was elected to the largely ceremonial role of Hungary's president two years ago.

Reuters reports that the scandal comes at a sensitive time for Hungary, which is trying to resolve a dispute with the European Union "on contested new laws to unlock stalled talks on financial support."

Opposition parties have called for his resignation saying cheating makes him unworthy of the job.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120330/hungarys-president-says-he-wont-resign-over-plagiarism-scandal