Zsolt Semjén

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Zsolt Semjén

Semjen Zsolt Portrait.jpg
Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary
Assumed office
1 June 2010
Prime MinisterViktor Orbán
Member of the National Assembly
Assumed office
15 May 2002
In office
28 June 1994 – 17 June 1998
Personal details
Born (1962-08-08) 8 August 1962 (age 56)
Budapest, Hungary
Political partyKDNP
  • Emese Borbála
  • Botond Benedek
  • Álmos Ágoston

Zsolt Semjén (Hungarian pronunciation: [ʒolt ˈʃɛmjeːn]; born 8 August 1962) is a Hungarian politician, currently minister without portfolio and Deputy Prime Minister in the second, third and fourth 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 Semjén 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.

Academic misconduct controversy[edit]

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.[1]

Eötvös Loránd University, which awarded Semjén his degree in sociology, confirmed that there is a significant overlap between the works of Semjén and Molnár but that retroactive overriding of the awarding process is unlawful and so will maintain his degree.[2] Pázmány Péter Catholic University did not conduct an investigation in the case, and announced that they consider the question closed, thus Semjén still has his PhD degree from that institution.[3]

Political career[edit]

Zsolt Semjén (left), Viktor Orbán and Tibor Navracsics on 29 May 2010 after taking the oath

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.[4]


  1. ^ György, Miklós (18 November 2012). "Plágiumgyanú Semjén Zsolt doktorija körül" (in Hungarian). Heti Világgazdaság. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  2. ^ "ELTE állásfoglalás" (in Hungarian). 19 December 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  3. ^ "PKE állásfoglalás" (PDF) (in Hungarian). 20 November 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Heart of Otto von Habsburg interred in Pannonhalma". Politics.hu. Retrieved 2011-07-18.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Péter Kiss
Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary
alongside Tibor Navracsics until 2014

Succeeded by
National Assembly of Hungary
Preceded by
Tamás Isépy
Leader of the KDNP parliamentary group
Succeeded by
Péter Harrach
Party political offices
Preceded by
László Varga
President of the KDNP
Succeeded by