Hungary's parliament re-elects Ader as President

Indo Asian News Service

Budapest, March 13 (IANS) In a vote split along party lines, Hungary's parliament on Monday re-elected Janos Ader as the country's President for a new five-year term, handing him a win over law professor Laszlo Majtenyi.

The ruling Fidesz Party and its ally, the Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP), which hold 131 seats in the 199-member parliament, nominated Ader for both his first and second terms, Xinhua news agency reported.

Left-wing opposition parties nominated law professor and former data protection ombudsman Laszlo Majtenyi, current chairman of the Eovos Karoly Institute political think tank, as essentially a protest candidate, since Ader's re-election was assured by the Fidesz party support.

Ader was elected with the support of the 131 Fidesz party Members of Parliament (MPs) while Majtenyi received 39 votes from left-of-centre MPs in the second round of voting. The 24 members of the right-wing Jobbik party did not participate in the vote.

The President is elected by parliament. To be elected in the first round of voting, a candidate must receive two-thirds of the vote. Ader was two votes short of the 133 needed for a first round election since Fidesz and the KDNP have only 131 seats and Ader was not supported by any other party.

Since a simple majority is sufficient for election in the second round of voting, Ader won re-election in the second round with the 131 Fidesz votes.

This will be Ader's second term as President. He took office in May 2012 following the resignation of his predecessor, Pal Schmitt, who became involved in a plagiarism scandal.

Ader was born in 1959. He holds a law degree, served as a Deputy Speaker of Parliament, and was a Member of the European Parliament until 2012, representing Fidesz. He resigned from the party as a prerequisite to serving as the country's President.

Hungary's President may not be a member of any political party and represents the unity of the Hungarian state.

--IANS

lok/dg