Hungarian president Pál Schmitt, who yesterday was stripped of his doctoral title by Semmelweis University following the discovery that the vast majority of his doctoral dissertation was plagiarized, was expected to make a statement tonight following Hungarian state television’s evening news broadcast. It has since become known that following the evening news, a taped interview with the president will be shown instead.
Origo.hu has learned that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has given Schmitt one to two days to try and convince Hungarians against his resignation, since the president would like to remain in his post. According to origo.hu’s sources, Debrecen mayor and Fidesz vice-chairman Lajos Kosa argued that if Schmitt stays on, it would harm the credibility of both Fidesz and the government.
Orbán, the portal was told, is not concerned that Schmitt could harm his party or the government, which is why Orbán and his spokespeople have spoken of Schmitt the president as being apart and independent from Fidesz or the government. Politicians from Fidesz and the Christian Democrats said that Orbán had asked Schmitt to resign last night, but that Schmitt made clear his intentions to stay on, which is why Orbán has set the president “free.”
Although the interview will only air later tonight, index.hu is reporting that there is a heightened police presence in Budapest, which goes toward confirming the story that the president is expected to announce that he will not stand down, for his resignation would not be expected to spark any public disorder.