|Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary|
1 June 2010
8 August 1962 |
Zsolt Semjén (born 8 August 1962 in Budapest) is a Hungarian politician, currently minister without portfolio and Deputy Prime Minister in the second cabinet of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Semjén is the leader of the Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP) since 2003, which formed a coalition and alliance with Fidesz.
After high school he worked in the first half of the 1980s in industrial companies. He educated in theology at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University. In 1992 he graduated from sociology at the University. After that he attended Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest professionally bound with Budapest universities. In the second half of the 90s, he had his theology laureatus degree converted to a doctorate in religious studies, and was given an honorary assistant professorship at the university.
In 1989, during the political transition, he was among the founders of the Christian Democratic People's Party. He was a member of the executive committee and employee of the National Assembly. From 1990 to 1994 he served as district councilor. In 1994 he obtained a parliamentary seat in 1997, he was the deputy leader of KDNP. Soon he left the party, joined the faction of the Hungarian Democratic Forum. In 1998, Viktor Orbán gave him the position of secretary of state for the church. In 2002 Zsolt Semjén returned to parliament from a list of Fidesz and the Democrats.
Soon, he rejoined the extra-parliamentary KDNP then, and in 2003 became chairman of this party. Led to a coalition of Christian Democrats of Fidesz (while maintaining organizational independence) and close cooperation between the two groups, ongoing since 2005. In 2006 and 2010 parliamentary mandate renewed for another term. In the second government of Viktor Orbán he became minister without portfolio and Deputy Prime Minister.
He and his wife represented the Hungarian government at the interment of the heart of former Hungarian Crown Prince Otto in Pannonhalma Archabbey, as the only persons present who were not Habsburg family members or clerics.
According to an article on 18 November 2012 by hvg.hu, Semjén committed acts of academic misconduct as he allegedly plagiarised around 40% of his 1991 theological doctoral thesis, parts of which he also resubmitted as his sociology diploma dissertation in 1992.
Eötvös Loránd University, which awarded Zsolt Semjén his degree in sociology, has refuted false press allegations, and confirmed that the degree was legitimately gained. The University’s statement can be read here: http://www.elte.hu/hir?id=NW-4055
After earning his degree in theology, Zsolt Semjén was rightfully awarded a PhD degree by Pázmány Péter Catholic University. https://ppke.hu/uploads/collection/391/file/SPPKE_RH_KM12113012110.pdf
- "Heart of Otto von Habsburg interred in Pannonhalma". Politics.hu. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
- György, Miklós (18 November 2012). "Plágiumgyanú Semjén Zsolt doktorija körül" (in Hungarian). Heti Világgazdaság. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- Zsolt Semjén's webpage
- Semjén: Rendszeresen imádkozom Gyurcsányért (Index interview)