Monthly Archives: March 2012

Orbán is playing with words again: This time it is “inviolable”

The Hungarian Constitution, or, pardon me, Basic Law, just like the old constitution written in 1989, states that “the person of the President of the Republic shall be inviolable” (Article 12/1). Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is hiding behind these words when he claims that he is unable to put any pressure and can’t use any persuasion to convince President Pál Schmitt that it would be in his best interest to step down.

Endre Aczél in a Népszabadság op/ed piece today zeroed in on the weakness of Orbán’s argument. He brought … Read the rest

The possible influence of the Schmitt affair on the right-wing intellectual elite

I don’t particularly like the term “elite,” especially when I look around and find many members of the so-called elite wanting. Wanting both intellectually and morally. Moreover, the elite comes in many different stripes–for instance, the business elite, the political elite, and the so-called intellectual elite. What Hungarians think of the political elite we know only too well. Among the business elite, the little we know about it, there is not much to admire. I think it is enough to listen to the recordings of the telephone conversations between Sándor … Read the rest

A few new facts about Pál Schmitt’s dissertation

The second act of the drama ended around 7:00 p.m. today when it was announced that the Senate of Semmelweis University had revoked President Pál Schmitt’s doctoral degree. There were 37 people present; 33 voted for the resolution and four opposed it.

Of course, this is only act two. Now comes the decision whether Schmitt should be able to remain in his post. Pál Schmitt indicated that he has every intention of staying. Apparently, he came to like the position and all its privileges. His office certainly acts as if … Read the rest

Further developments in the Schmitt case

The first reaction to the report of the committee of five investigating President Pál Schmitt’s plagiarism came from the always eager-beaver Christian Democrats. The party was pleased to hear the verdict because “this will put an end to the political attacks” on Schmitt. The official press release of KDNP stated that the report “represents a closure to suppositions that questioned the originality of the president’s dissertation.” It seems that the KDNP politicians read a different summary of the findings of the committee than I did.

A few minutes later Fidesz’s … Read the rest

The Hungarian president plagiarized but it was the university’s fault

This morning Árpád W. Tóta, the very popular blogger, even before the verdict of the fact finding committee dealing with the plagiarism case of President Pál Schmitt was released, wrote that “the report of the committee will reveal how destructive is the force of that will that made Pál Schmitt president and kept him in that position.” Now we know. The “destructive force of that will,” as Tóta calls Viktor Orbán, is enormous.

Tóta also rightly points out that the Regime of National Cooperation expects the academic community, especially social … Read the rest

Lex DK: How the Fidesz majority manipulates the law

We’ve already had several instances of Lex This and Lex That when a piece of legislation was specifically written to suit one person. The first such Lex was Lex Szapáry named for György Szapáry, the current Hungarian ambassador to Washington. The law in force at the time stated that the compulsory retirement age for diplomats was 70, but Viktor Orbán’s choice for the Washington post was seventy-two. No problem. The law was changed and Szapáry duly appointed. Or, there was a new, Fidesz-introduced rule that former members of the armed … Read the rest

A disturbing interview with András Schiffer

A lot of people think that one of the obstacles to cooperation among the democratic parties is the person of András Schiffer. There are also many who consider him not quite trustworthy and who suspect him and his party of being far too cozy with Fidesz. Some would go so far as to say that Fidesz, even if it didn’t actually create LMP, was certainly pleased to see its formation and may have assisted in its sudden rise on the political horizon.

One thing is sure. LMP can’t quite decide … Read the rest