Hungary parliament accepts president's resignation

PABLO GORONDI Associated Press Published:

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) -- Hungary's parliament has accepted the resignation of President Pal Schmitt, who announced he was stepping down after losing his doctorate in a plagiarism scandal.

Lawmakers voted 338-5 to accept Schmitt's resignation, with six parliamentary deputies abstaining in Monday's vote in the legislature.

Parliamentary Speaker Laszlo Kover will replace Schmitt until a new president is elected by lawmakers within the next 30 days.

The governing Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban said it was initiating talks with the four other parliamentary parties to find Schmitt's successor.

Schmitt's 1992 doctorate was revoked last week after a university committee found that most of his thesis about the modern Olympic Games had been copied from two other authors.