Romania in Protest: A Demand for Early Elections After Prime Minister Victor Ponta Resigned

Last Updated: November 5, 2015
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Angry protesters numbering to at least 10,000 have rallied over a deadly night club fire in Bucharest, capital city of Romania. The protest happened just hours after Prime Minister Victor Ponta stepped down, and had encourage more rallies across Romania.

On Friday, three owners of the controversial night club were arrested for suspected manslaughter after fireworks were set ablaze by a performing band, BBC reports.

Protesters have raised the concern that safety and security was compromised because of the corruption of the government, and the long-standing political unrest in the country.

Mr. Ponta is the first prime minister to be tried in court while in office, after he was charged of fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering while he was still a lawyer. Mr. Ponta denied the charges, stating, “the obsession of a totally unprofessional prosecutor to assert himself in his career by inventing and imagining untrue deeds and situations from 10 years ago.”

On Wednesday evening, demonstrators have boldly marched and gathered around University Square, an area known for anti-government rallies in Central Bucharest, and shouting, “Get out of your homes if you care” and “Don’t be afraid, the country is rising up”.

In a television address, he hope that his resignation would “satisfy the people who came out in the streets”, BBC reports.

Not only did Mr. Ponta stepped down, but also the district mayor of Bucharest, and the Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea also resigned on Wednesday.

Romania’s president, Klaus Lohannis, had consistently urged Mr. Ponta to resign after the shameful corruption issues back in June. He also approved the protest last Tuesday, as this will bring “a sea of change” in Romania’s political structure. Mr. Lohannis further stated that the club tragedy had “affected the nerve of the nation”.

President Lohannis exclaims that he initiate on consulting political parties to choose a new prime minister, and to create a new government.

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