April 2, 2012

Rector quits after plagiarism scandal

The rector of Budapest's Semmelweis University has announced his resignation, the latest twist in a plagiarism scandal surrounding President Pal Schmitt.
Tivadar Tulassay's announcement followed last week's decision to strip Schmitt of his 1992 doctorate, after an investigative committee set up by the university found he had copied 'word-for-word' large passages of other academics' work in his thesis.
According to the university website Tulassay resigned because he felt he had lost the trust of his political superiors and had been left alone to handle Schmitt's case.
Earlier on Sunday Schmitt told national radio that only the law courts, rather than the university, could revoke his doctorate.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a close ally of Schmitt, told public radio in a recent interview that the president alone must decide whether he should resign from the largely ceremonial post.
Opposition parties, meanwhile, called on him to resign and on Saturday hundreds of people marched from the city center to the presidential palace in the castle district.
The demonstrators joined a handful of people who have set up a small protest camp outside the palace.
Chanting 'Resign' and holding placards that read 'Bullschmitt' and 'Pal the lying doctor' they expressed their frustration at Schmitt's public interview on Friday night, in which he denied any wrongdoing and said he would stay in office.
'I am here because I have had enough of our politicians, who have been lying to our faces on a daily basis. I demand Pal Schmitt's resignation because he did not get his education through honest means and cannot represent Hungary,' said Balint, a 37-year-old freelance designer. skynews.com.au

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