Romanian Prime Minister resigns after nightclub fire

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Romainia Prime Minister Victor Ponta
Image: Social Democratic Party of Romania.

In the aftermath of a deadly nightclub fire in Romania last week, yesterday Prime Minister of Romania Victor Ponta announced his resignation, stating "I'm handing in my mandate, I'm resigning, and implicitly my government too".

Cquote1.svg I'm handing in my mandate, I'm resigning, and implicitly my government too Cquote2.svg

—Victor Ponta in a statement

The announcement came after around 20,000 protesters marched through Bucharest on Tuesday night, blaming the government for lax regulation and corruption. During his televised resignation speech, Ponta said he hoped "the government's resignation will satisfy the people who came out in the streets". However, yesterday night as many as 30,000 protesters demonstrated, demanding further political reform.

The recent protests express deep-seated concern about political corruption in Romania. Ponta is currently on trial for a series of corruption charges, which he denies.

Ponta's resignation came alongside the resignation of Gabriel Oprea, who was serving as Interior Minister.

Victor Ponta says he will remain Prime Minister until a temporary replacement is chosen by the President of Romania. Forming a new government might take some time, and could result in elections if the President is unable to find a Prime Minister who can form a government.


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