Orbán seeks to catapult MEP to Hungarian presidency

Janos Ader.jpg

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has nominated János Áder, a political ally and European Parliament member, as Hungary's next president, following the resignation of Pál Schmitt over a plagiarism scandal. A vote of approval is scheduled to take place in Parliament on 2 May.

Áder will ensure security and predictability for the nation, a government spokesperson said at a meeting of MPs of the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democratic party alliance. He added that a priority for the new president would be to solidify Hungary’s new constitutional system.

On 2 April Schmitt announced his resignation after he was stripped of his doctorate in a plagiarism case. Schmitt has held the mostly ceremonial post of president since 2010. His term would normally have lasted five years.

János Lázár, the Fidesz parliamentary group leader, said a vote on the nomination of Áder would be held on 2 May, the website Politics.hu reported.

Lázár said that Áder had accepted the nomination and the deputies unanimously supported the nominee.

Áder, 52, trained as a lawyer, was a founding member of conservative Fidesz party. He worked as a research associate at the Sociology Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences between 1986 and 1990.

He joined Fidesz in April 1988 and has since then been one of the party’s legal specialists. In the 1990 and 1994 general elections he headed Fidesz campaigns and has been a deputy leader of the party four times since 1993.

In 2009 he was elected to the European Parliament. His profile on the European Parliament website reveals that he has a strong interest in environmental questions, and in particular for banning cyanide mining in the EU.

He drafted Hungary’s new law on the electoral system adopted in 2011 and was a major force in reforming the country’s judicial system.

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