Former Hungarian president Ferenc Mádl dies aged 80

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Ferenc Mádl held the Presidential office for five years

Ferenc Mádl, President of Hungary from August 4, 2000 to August 5, 2005, died aged 80 on Sunday. During his time in office, Mádl became co-chairman of the World Justice Project and was recognized for his work in securing peace and solidarity in Europe.

Mádl studied law at Budapest's Eötvös Loránd University, graduating in 1955. He went on to work in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences before becoming head of its law department. After a career in law, Mádl entered politics, becoming a minister without portfolio in the first post-communist government. He later became Hungary's Minister of Education, a post he held in 1993 and 1994.

During his time as president, Mádl oversaw three prime ministers: Peter Medgyessy, Ferenc Gyurcsany and current prime minister Viktor Orban.

Current Hungarian president Pal Schmitt paid tribute to Mádl upon learning of his death. A statement released by his office said, "Pal Schmitt learnt with deep sorrow of the former head of state's death, and on this day personally expressed his condolences to [Mádl's] family." Prime Minister Orban commented on posted on his Facebook page, "We are shocked to hear the news. May he rest in peace!"