Budapest - Hungarian President Pal Schmitt said on Friday there was no link between a plagiarism row that cost him his doctorate and his role as head of state, pledging to defend his honour by writing a new thesis.

“These issues are not related in my view, even though many interpret it this way,” the 69-year-old Schmitt said in a taped interview on television when asked whether he had considered resigning over the issue.

Opposition parties say cheating makes him unworthy of the job. The main right-leaning daily Magyar Nemzet and influential conservative intellectuals have also called for him to quit.

Schmitt was stripped of his doctorate on Thursday. - Reuters