The Democratic Coalition is of the opinion that Orbán was personally responsible for Pál Schmitt’s election for President of the Republic, consequently he is also the one who should solve the current situation.
In his press briefing, Csaba Molnár, vice president of the opposition party said that he had submitted a written question to the prime minister, in which he expected an answer, among others, to the question why the prime minister failed to share his opinion with the public, and why he failed to take on responsibility in this matter.
As he put forth, the “scandal of plagiarism” seriously endangers the prestige of Hungary, the position of the President of Republic as well as Hungarian higher education and scientific life, and therefore steps have to be taken. In his opinion, the head of state ought to have resigned, but because he had not done that, another solution should be found. He declared that nobody else but Viktor Orbán was personally responsible for this situation, he was the one who had “imposed” Pál Schmitt on the country. Consequently, he is also the one to solve the situation.
At the same time, Csaba Orbán objected that the prime minister’s point of view was not known and he cited a sentence from the Basic Law in relation to the inviolability of the president of the republic. Replying to questions of journalists regarding the plagiarism case of the head of state, Viktor Orbán replied on Friday that although one could criticize the decisions of the president of the republic, but his person was “above it” and inviolable. The interest of the country was the most important, which meant that Hungary should always have a leader whose person was inviolable. He also suggested the constitutional rule on the inviolability of the president of the republic for consideration and observation for everybody.
Csaba Molnár was of the opinion that either the legal knowledge of the prime minister was short in the matter, or he simply did not tell the truth. “Because we think that his doctorate is likely true and his legal diploma is also genuine – at least no suspicion has arisen for the contrary in the past days – therefore we have to come to the conclusion that the prime minister consciously does not tell the truth ” – he declared. As he explained, referring to an earlier decision of the Constitutional Court, inviolability means the lack of political responsibility and a limited legal responsibility, and not any limitation of the freedom of expression – i.e. in his point of view a head of state was criticisable and politically attackable.
Simultaneously, DK requests Pál Schmitt to have his mandate confirmed by the Parliament so that it comes to light whether the government parties truly support his stay in office. Csaba Molnár said that, by such a poll, the opinions of Viktor Orbán and Fidesz-KDNP could be revealed; furthermore, it would create a clear situation because all responsibilities would fall upon the two-third majority. In relation to the plagiarism, confirming his announcement made on Friday, the head of state said in the radion program “Vasárnapi Újság” of MR1-Kossuth Radio: “I do not intend to resign because my conscience is clear”.
While Pál Schmitt was on a trip abroad, the senate of Semmelweis University decided to strip Dr. Pál Schmitt’s of his scientific university degree of dr. univ., which he acquired from the University of Physical Education (now Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences of the Semmelweis University) in 1992. The rector of the university explained the decision that, because the dr. univ. thesis had been based to a large extent on a translation of fully identical texts, it did not comply with the professional and ethical criteria of such a dissertation. The Rector of Semmelweis University sent the report of the university’s fact-finding committee to the Ministry of National Resources for information and for a decision, but the minister Miklós Réthelyi returned it unread, referring to his lack of competence. The university’s doctoral council formulated their position on this basis, and then the senate of the institution decided to repeal the dr. univ. degree of the head of state.